Reason Roundup

FEC Drops Case Against Trump for Alleged Hush Money Payments

Plus: The difference between conservatives and libertarians, Utah Supreme Court upholds sex changes on birth certificates, and more...


Blast from the past. The saga of former President Donald Trump paying adult entertainer Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an alleged affair—and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who arranged the payment, going to prison for it—seems like it happened a lifetime ago at this point. But the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has only now announced a decision to formally drop the matter, which the agency had been exploring as a possible violation of election law.

To refresh your memory: Shortly before the 2016 presidential election, Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 and funneled $150,000 through the National Enquirer to former Playboy model Karen McDougal. The payments were meant to keep tales of these women's trysts with Trump from getting out. Cohen would later admit to making these payments ("I felt it was my duty to cover up [Trump's] dirty deeds," Cohen said) and be sentenced in 2018 to three years in prison for tax evasion, lying to Congress, and campaign finance law violation.

Trump initially claimed to know nothing about the payments. Later he copped to their existence but noted that he paid Cohen with his own money, not campaign funds, and swore that this was "a simple private transaction," not a criminal violation. Whether it was really the former or the latter is indeed "a little dicey," as Trump put it to Fox News back in 2018. Reason's Jacob Sullum delved into the finer legal points here and here.

"In December 2020, the F.E.C. issued an internal report from its Office of General Counsel on how to proceed in its review. The office said it had found 'reason to believe' violations of campaign finance law were made 'knowingly and willfully' by the Trump campaign," The New York Times reports.

But the commissioners ultimately decided not to go forward with proceedings against Trump, announcing that decision yesterday. Two FEC commissioners—both Democrats—had voted to go forward with the case, while two Republican commissioners voted to dismiss. Another commissioner recused himself and another was absent for the vote.

"The hush money payment was done at the direction of and for the benefit of Donald J. Trump," Cohen told the Times in response. "Like me, Trump should have been found guilty. How the F.E.C. committee could rule any other way is confounding."

In an April 26 explanation of their reasoning, Sean J. Cooksey and James E. "Trey" Trainor III—the commissioners who voted to dismiss—wrote that "the public record is complete with respect to the conduct at issue in these complaints, and Mr. Cohen has been punished by the government of the United States for the conduct at issue in these matters. Thus, we concluded that pursuing these matters further was not the best use of agency resources."

They added that they were "facing an extensive enforcement docket backlog resulting from a prolonged lack of a quorum, and these matters were already statute-of-limitations imperiled." (As of December 9, 2020, "there were 446 matters before the agency, of which 275 were awaiting Commission action, of which at least 35 were statute-of-limitations imperiled," they pointed out.)

In a separate statement, FEC Chair Shana M. Broussard and Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub wrote that they agreed with their Republican colleagues "that the Commission's interests were vindicated as to Cohen, and therefore did not move to support a reason to believe finding for Cohen." However: 

Where we disagreed with those colleagues was in their decision to dismiss the remaining allegations.

Their Statement of Reasons is notably devoid of any explanation that specifically addresses their votes to dismiss the allegations against Trump, the Committee, and the Trump Organization. We voted to support OGC's recommendations to find reason to believe that Trump and the Committee knowingly and willfully accepted an excessive contribution from Cohen and a prohibited corporate or excessive contribution from the Trump Organization, that the Committee knowingly and willfully filed false disclosure reports, and that the Trump Organization knowingly and willfully made a corporate or excessive contribution through its reimbursements to Cohen.

There is ample evidence in the record to support the finding that Trump and the Committee knew of, and nonetheless accepted, the illegal contributions at issue here. Indeed, Cohen provided testimony under penalty of perjury that Trump not only knew about the payment but himself directed Cohen to orchestrate the scheme. And the Commission's interests in seeing the law enforced with respect to Trump, the Committee, and the Trump Organization have in no way been vindicated.




Life on Mars? NASA rovers have found "fungus-like Martian specimens" on the red planet, a new paper in the journal Advances in Microbiology says.

• Alabama's House of Representatives voted 68–34 yesterday in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.

• No wonder U.S. contract tracing hasn't gone so well.

• Salt Lake City police conducted an 18-month-long investigation to charge one woman for prostitution.

• Twitter bots will now prompt people to review mean tweets. The platform is also introducing a "Tip Jar."

NEXT: Eldridge Cleaver: The Mormon Years

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  1. FEC Drops Case Against Trump for Alleged Hush Money Payments

    Libertarian moment.

    1. They were obviously paid off.

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    2. Things sure have changed from the Kennedy era, when the media helped cover up such things, although considering Tara Reade, maybe not so much after all.

      1. I think you’re very close to cracking the code.

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      2. “Things sure have changed from the Kennedy era, when the media helped cover up such things,..”

        If Walter Cronkite didn’t mention it, it wasn’t news.

        1. Cronkite: Man that was some good sex I had last night……in other news…..

    3. They are in a generous, forgiving mood.

      1. Pretty sure that’s spelled “lap dog”.

    4. Just glad we avoided 4 years of the media lying about the legal matters involved here.

      1. The only sex work time ENB disapproves of is when it involves Trump.

      1. Only used the mute on bots like this so far

        1. same.. nice to have that option

          1. Strange that Reason didn’t bother to filter obvious bots like that.

  2. The Supreme Court of Utah (SCOUT!) holds, 4-1, that trans people can have their sex designations changed on their birth certificates…

    But may they?

    1. Grammar is racist!

    2. I will have to read the decision, but on face value this is beyond stupid. At birth you are a sex. Even after surgery to cut your balls off, you remain that sex. DNA doesn’t change.

      Legal documents require objective truths. Not subjective whim of the moment bullshit. On contracts you must use a legal name, not make one up on the spot. Sure one can legally change their name, but they can’t change their DNA.

      1. We get identified mostly by visual appearances, not dna.
        At least not yet anyway.

        1. Sex is not visual appearance. Also, is there any requirement that the person must conform to appearance stereotypes?

          You may argue the information is not relevant, but the problem is that it is not accurate under this ruling, and the reason for the inaccuracy is to satisfy the emotional issues of the person involved.

          1. Sure it is. You know what sex a person is in almost every case by their outward appearance, not by genetic tests or examining anatomy.

            1. E cept for the people utilizing this ruling.

            2. Want to explain Rachel Levine? Her outward appearance is the Quaker Oats man.

            3. Not necessarily. People (myself included) misidentify babies all the time and old goobers will also call cashiers “Ma’am,” whether male or female, especially in the time of COVID-19 with everyone wearing masks. Harmless mistakes like this are all the more reason not to impose criminal penalties for “assuming the gender.”

            4. At some point, I expect couples that want biological children are going to want some way to screen for proper sex pairings.

              I get that that is not really relevant here and now, but unless we fix the stupid, it could be relevant at some point.

      2. You are going to defend the immutability of irrelevant information on a document generated by the government solely to prove your right to citizenship? Because your presence should suffice as proof of existence.

        There are many things birth certificates are required to obtain, including a passport. It can be provided to an employer for the I-9. People have a right to privacy in regards to any differences in their physical characteristics as a result of surgeries they have obtained.

        Shorter: Why the fuck should the government care if Caitlyn’s name used to be Bruce. If the document can’t be used to impersonate someone the sex is immaterial.

        1. Should we also be able to change the color of our eyes on our birth certificate? What about the name of our parents? How about the location? Is the date sacrosanct?

          1. Like my son, my eyes were blue when I was born and are now green. I don’t remember that being on the certificate in WA or OR, but I could be wrong.

            Date, location, and parents at birth are the criteria that define citizenship. So, yes, if that is the purpose of the document, those items cannot be changed.

            Sex, hair color, eye color, skin color and even name can be changed and the document still provides proof of citizenship. As a characteristic to identify that a person is the one described in the document, sex at birth is a pretty poor choice. At most, it eliminates 1/2 of the world’s 8 billion population.

            A foot or handprint, however, eliminates all but a few.

  3. Maybe they will purse impeachment against Trump. Again.

    1. Third time’s the charm!

      1. The walls are closing in!

        1. Worse than Watergate.

          1. Way worse than using the IC to spy on a campaign.

    2. Nah, this time, let’s impeach Nixon! It is long past time that he get kicked out of office!

  4. “The difference between conservatives and libertarians”

    Ummmmmmm, pretty much every single issue imaginable?

    A much more concise topic would be “the difference between progressives and libertarians.” These days we really only disagree on the minimum wage — they want to increase it, we want to abolish it.

    1. As a Libertarian, I believe you can go to hell in your own way, but I don’t want to go along with you. Some of us live lives separate from what Nick would think is cool.

      1. The Chesterton quote about damned fools and possibly damned souls applies here. Gillespie oft times confuses objections about whether someone should do something with the can they do something legally.

      2. When progressives tell you what conservatives “don’t think you should do” (violent tv, certain kinds of music? Really?) they are absolutely correct. For the 1950s, which is where many of them still live.

        They just can’t face up to the fact that nobody really gives a shit anymore. Gotta hang on tight to that victim complex or risk irrelevance! Haha.

  5. We “believe in markets, which are really good at delivering things conservatives don’t think you should be doing–violent TV, certain kinds of music, sex work, drugs, you name it.”


    1. Who is Buy Guns?

    2. The difference is libertarians also support guy buns.

      1. Gotta love Spoonerisms.

      2. As long as everyone opposes man buns we can all get along

        1. I am with you on that one

      3. You’re being cheeky.

    3. Does she know tipper Gore led the music labeling charge?

      1. And the democrat in d.c. banned dancing?

        1. Bowser really changed after leaving Sha Na Na.

        2. Really, when you think about it, the Gores and the Clintons probably did more to promote the Religious Right agenda than most other Presidents and Vice-Presidents and their families.

          Not only was there Tipper Gore with her PMRC, but Bill Clinton as Arkansas Governor signed a “Creation Science” bill into State law and as President signed The Communications Decency Act and “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” into law and Hillary wanted and got the V-Chip on TVs.

          Also, Obama continued Bush’s “Faith-Based Initiatives” as has Biden, so there’s that as well.

          Sooo…Both sides all in together against religious freedom, free expression, and limited secular government.

      2. Conservatives; from Tea-totalling Puritans to incestuous beer-swilling rednecks and everything in between. If there’s a social problem, you can be sure they’re the cause of it.

        Historically, The Progressive Movement wore prohibition as a badge and it was southern blue dog democrats that invented reefer madness.

    4. Is she aware of the crime bills in regards to drugs biden and inner city democrats pushed in the 90s?

    5. I name ‘buy votes’.

  6. trans people can have their sex designations changed on their birth certificates,

    with an asterisked footnote?

    1. Changing your race must be approved now too. Anyone that wants to get a farm loan had better change to Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native American. Adding in female would also be a benefit.
      White male farmers are outlawed now.

      1. And if your black and vote republican you are white

      2. If reparations come about, you can bet your bippy I’m identifying as black.

    2. You should also be able to change your name, age, race and who your parents are. Fuck it, why not?

      1. But you can’t change your penumbra to an emanation.

  7. “It’s easier to believe good people do bad things for no reason than that bad things happen to good people for no reason.”

    I wish more people would believe that the criminal justice system is staffed with a lot of bad people.

  8. NASA rovers have found “fungus-like Martian specimens” on the red planet…

    The planet’s first roadkill.

    1. Pfshaw. How can there be roads on Mars, if there is no government yet?

      1. *golf clap*

      2. Get another Bush in and we’ll be Nation Building for Martian fungus. But not until we blast them into the Ordovician age first.

    2. Oh that just BEGS for a Far Side cartoon.

      1. Hell, it might have been one and the reason that came into my head.

    3. Can the save-the-fungus protestors be far behind?

    4. those darn SUVs kill everything

    5. His loss will be mourned by many. Friends and family said that he always had a good joke for a laugh. Basically, he was a fungi.

    1. Don’t be silly. We only use the cheap Chinese junk steel for bridge construction.

      1. You can get that on Amazon.

    2. Lumber is there, too.

    3. Infrastructure is child care, programs for the elderly and disabled, and paid leave:

      You don’t need coils of steel for that.

      1. you need the steel for the cages, I mean hospitality spaces for imigrants

  9. Alabama’s House of Representatives voted 68–34 yesterday in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.

    Are the states really going to put Biden on the wrong side of history… again.

    1. Get ready for Civil War II.

  10. Of all the wise investments American billionaires have made over the years, their decision to back Biden in 2020 may be the most rewarding.

    In 2021 Democrats have raised the minimum wage by: $0.00 / hour

    In 2021 benefactor Charles Koch’s net worth has increased by: $7.04 billion

    It took a full year (January to December 2020) for Drumpf’s draconian anti-billionaire policies to shave $5 billion off Mr. Koch’s net worth. Under Biden, it’s barely taken 100 days for our benefactor to make that all back, and then some.


    1. You have extraordinary knowledge of Mr. Koch’s assets. I find it surprising that he gives you leave to tell the world about his finances. Most billionaires would be far less generous at permitting employees or advisors to discuss such secrets on social media.

      1. Or, maybe, I have Internet access and a familiarity with the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

  11. That contact tracing blurb is unbelievable. Were a contract tracer to call my home and demand PII about my children without identifying themselves, or their purpose in calling….they would have heard a click and a dial tone. And maybe an ‘Up Yours’ just beforehand.

    1. I’m sure they have their reasons for all of these steps

      “There’s no reason for it. It’s just our policy.”

    2. they would have heard a click and a dial tone. And maybe an ‘Up Yours’ just beforehand.

      Dear Boomer,

      Modern phone dis-etiquette necessitates the “Up Yours” come first as disconnected calls no longer click or default to dial tones.


      1. LOL…touche. 🙂

      2. Whenever I get a call from a telemarketer, I say “hold on a sec”, put down the phone (without hanging up), and walk away.

        1. Here’s an added Touché: Unless you are contractually obligated by your job, gig, or other such contract, no one is legally or morally obligated to pick up a telephone to have to hear a dial tone. That is why there are text and voice mail.

  12. But the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has only now announced a decision to formally drop the matter,

    having found no evidence of widespread hush payoffs.

  13. <blockquote cite=""One of them asked me a series of questions about my 3-year-old son's gender identity.

    There is a simple explanation as to why contract tracers need to know this information. The federal government subcontracts to a lot of perverts.

    1. One of them asked me a series of questions about my 3-year-old son’s gender identity.


      1. As long as you don’t italicize the whole thread, you are forgiven.

  14. Salt Lake City police conducted an 18-month-long investigation to charge one woman for prostitution.

    Usually police save the year-and-a-half feet dragging for one of their own.

    1. And then stashing a gun somewhere on the body.

      1. So did you give up your sock since you can mute now?

        1. This is the only account I ever used on here.

          1. I deleted the email I used to sign up, so I can’t even change my username if I wanted to.

            Yet I’m the most prolific sock….

            *cue JesseAz to show “proof” that I’m five people*

            …while Tulpa brags about spoofing people.

            Which this mute function should fix. It bans accounts, not names.

            1. I see talking about people, no talking about ideas.

              1. I see someone who wants to get muted.

                  1. Consider it like making Hihn’s ‘enemies list’, and hole your head high!
                    On the ‘mute’ list of a piece of shit who shows up only to whine about how people don’t like him.

    2. Amateurs. It was only 18 months? Trump took 4.5 years. Do better.

    3. As long as they’re getting paid to get free sex, they’ll drag it out as long as they can.

  15. Twitter bots will now prompt people to review mean tweets.

    Karenbot crowdsources.

    1. I was pissed off about something that I had to get up and walk away from the keyboard. Anyway, I got distracted and now that I’m back at the keyboard, I can’t even remember what I was originally mad about.

      Twitterbot: Please review this mean tweet that was sent.

  16. It is not enough to passively allow the lie, one must be forced to actively lie in accordance with another’s delusion.

    1. And like it.

    2. I just started a business selling diet plans to anorexic teens.

      1. With instructions reading:
        “Keep it up”?

        1. Step 1: Don’t eat.
          Step 2: Vote 3rd party.
          Step 3: Get thin.

  17. There is ample evidence in the record to support the finding that Trump and the Committee knew of, and nonetheless accepted, the illegal contributions at issue here.

    As I recall, at the time everybody wanted to know if Trump had paid the hush money personally or if he had used campaign funds, because the use of campaign funds would have clearly been illegal since it was the use of campaign funds for personal benefit. When it turns out – as the above quoted passage makes clear – that he used personal funds, that too is illegal because the hush money was paid in order to bolster Trump’s campaign and therefore it became a campaign contribution and should have been reported as such. In other words, damned if you do and damned if you don’t, either way they would have been able to pursue criminal charges against Trump because you can argue either way that the hush money was either Trump’s personal business or that it was campaign-related. The fact that they just dropped all the charges after Trump didn’t win re-election suggests the possibility that this was all politically motivated horseshit anyway.

    1. Yet you can pay your law firm millions to funnel money to an ex British officer and his Russian contacts to give a report to the media, fbi, state department, multiple senators…. and nobody bats an eye.

    2. That’s what I was frustrated about. When I asked people “how could he perform this contract, which was otherwise legal?” they had no answer.

      Catch-22s aren’t allowed in a court of law.

    3. The New York Times has openly admitted that their newsroom was being run as a political operation to get Trump out of office during his entire presidency. They lamented the fact that their use of the Russia story had not obtain the desired results and publicly cast about for a replacement story, resulting in the 1619 project.

      CNN has similarly been shown to have been operating with the aim of obtaining the political result of removing Trump and of having the Democrat win the presidency.

      These are two very large news organizations, and their contributions were 7 days a week for at least 5 years.

      As far as I know, there have been no investigations as to the illegal contributions and kind. Interesting that thousands of hours of broadcast time does not count as a campaign contribution when it was explicitly reserved for that purpose, yet paying a stripper to keep quiet about something that happened decades earlier does.

  18. Reason Commenters…How is that ‘Mute User’ function working out for you. Quick poll:

    Q1. How many commenters have you muted?
    Q2. Who do you think the top ‘Mutants’ (those muted) are?

    I’ll go first. I have muted three spambots. My guess is Rev Arthur and DaivdBehar lead the ‘Mutants’.

    1. Muted.

    2. A1. Five – R Mac, JesseAZ, Mother’s Lament, Sevo, and Tulpa have been muted.

      A2. me, me, me, me and me

      1. I haven’t seen any Tulpa socks yet, but those are getting muted immediately.

        1. And child 2.

      2. This is the child I mention below.

        3 straight days of victim signaling. Lol.

      3. sarcasmic
        May.7.2021 at 10:01 am
        “A1. Five – R Mac, JesseAZ, Mother’s Lament, Sevo, and Tulpa have been muted.”
        Makes me proud!

        “A2. me, me, me, me and me”
        Not at all surprising.
        Do you get the feeling every one of the walls in this shit’s home is covered with mirrors?

    3. I’ve muted one person so far, and a bunch of spambots.

      1. If your like me the only mute you used was on kar

        1. Who is kar?

          1. ML is Mother’s Lament, JA is JesseAz, KAR is… you can figure it out.

            1. Oh, the Mormon-hating guy? I don’t get the hate. Mormons are weirdos, but I find them endearing.

              1. Yeah he’s the only one I find insufferable

                1. White Knight sets my teeth on edge because he’s so dishonest, and sarcasmic because he’s such a petulant attention-whore.

            2. Holy shit hihn. Twice you’ve posted your list in one subthread?

              1. Did you know sarc’s muted us? Well if you forget, don’t worry, he’ll mention it again shortly.

                1. Kinda the way you find out the guy sitting next to you on the plane is a vegan…

                  1. Did you know sarc has friends that he shoots guns with?!

                    1. Does he have a news-letter? My garbage can is pretty big.

    4. 1. Several spam bots; so long, Brason Tay

      2. KillAllRednecks; because he is insane, to a rather sad degree.

      3. I threatened Arty to to imagine him squirming over the decline of his trolling ability. Same with the squirrel formerly known as Hihn.

      4. Tony I’m just not sure about. It is fun to see his ass constantly handed to him, mostly over errors in fact that he could easily resolve by a brief visit to Wikipedia before posting drivel; but also because I truly suspect he is really just a strawman created to demonstrate the fallacy of stupid, irrational, illogical, emotionally laden and victim infused “thinking”

      1. I find Tony quite entertaining. He actually brings up good points from time to time. I haven’t seen Artie in a while, just his right-wing namesake.

        1. Right, on the odd occasion he actually throws out something sensible, but then immediately reverts to “whataboutism” along with the usual diversion of topic when his non rationale hits a dead end.

          I saw Arty just this morning; the usual clinger line sans substance.

      2. Tony isn’t stupid. He’s an obtuse, close-minded bonehead. But I wouldn’t say he’s unintelligent.

        1. Agree; I’ve made efforts to argue with him but when someone constantly pivots on how much they “feel” about something, it just becomes a pointless waste of time. The guy [or strawman, as I’ve come to suspect] just cannot get beyond his victim experience [growing up conspicuously gay in the Bible Belt, apparently] and how the world should adjust to accommodate him.

          1. You can’t really engage in a long debate with Tony. His value comes mostly from his sniping remarks, which sometimes make me think about things from a different perspective.

          2. Oh, and his legendary spats with John. Speaking of John, when was the last time he has made an appearance?

            1. Haven’t seen him since the election.

            2. I think it was November 2nd; he pretty much disappeared right after.

        2. What were you saying about small minds talk about people?

          1. Pot kettle black?

          2. That only a dumbass can’t tell the difference between small minds ignoring the topic and focusing on the people having the debate, and the topic being the merits of a mute function and the people being muted.

            1. Tony isn’t stupid. He’s an obtuse, close-minded bonehead. But I wouldn’t say he’s unintelligent.
              Looks like gossip to me.

              1. Note to self: Don’t roll in the mud with pigs.

                1. Now see, there was an idea. I knew you could do it.

                  1. Aw shucks!

                2. That’s rich coming from the comment sections chief troll and the creator of KAR and SQRLSY.

                  1. How many times do I have to tell you I’m not a sock?

                    I know you’re a lying fascist, but come on.

      3. Tony’s bitterness seems genuine. I wouldn’t be surprised if KAR is a parody, or an experiment in which directions hate is allowed here. (KillAllMuslims would almost certainly be shut down immediately). But he does seem kinda dumb, so probably genuine as well.

        1. I seem dumb?

    5. I haven’t muted anyone yet…which is odd, because there are some real annoyances. May they all ran off after people stopped engaging with them?

      1. Want to kill a troll? Ignore them. But I do know, and admit to, the temptation to respond to them…which is of course their “hook” to engage others in pissing matches that go no where.

        1. That’s why the flag function was ineffective. You still end up reading some of the offensive comment and are drawn into reacting.

          With this mute function I don’t see those posts by JesseAz that contain the word “you” five times, accusing me of things I’ve never done while refuting argument I never made.

          It’s so refreshing.

          1. See, he does know I’m the one responding to him, how many times has he mentioned my name to just say he is muting me. LOL.

            things I’ve never done while refuting argument I never made.

            I literally just posted your exact comments 2 days ago that you denied prior to me posting them.

            You constantly lie about what you’ve said or inferred in the past. It is one of your most endearing traits.

            1. I guarantee you that he’s still reading your posts Jesse, but now that he’s declared that he’s “muted” you, he’s trapped himself.

              He can’t troll you any more without declaring that he hasn’t actually muted you.

          2. You just need to learn to not feed the trolls. I don’t really mute anyone but tend to avoid any conversations that aren’t joking ones. Depends on how busy work is and how willing I am to shit out an unedited pile of prose.

      2. I haven’t muted anybody. I just flag the spambots same as always so the comments disappear off the thread and skip over the dick-measuring threads when the jackasses here engage with the other group of jackasses. As far as I’m concerned, whether you’re trolling or responding to trolls you’re equally annoying.

    6. Q1: only spam. I’m not a child in fear of what random internet people say.
      Q2: sarcasmic offers his list daily.

      1. 3: Fear of getting muted yourself.

        1. Even that doesn’t bug me. See how sarcasmic has to say daily I’m muted. Makes me laugh actually.

          1. But he totally only talks about ideas.

            1. lol

          2. So long as you at least inject some humor into it…as in horse face’s two breast friends kind of humor.

    7. So far I’ve muted no one. I like seeing what the crazies think and rarely argue with them for more than a couple of comments since you can’t fix stupid.

      I would mute/ flag spam but am to lazy

    8. Muted Spam bots and Rev. Kirkland.

      1. Yeah, that miserable bastard doesn’t even try to offer anything beyond invective and cheap shots.

        1. Kirk is the embodiment of everything that is annoying about progs. Likely parody.

    9. I muted AddictionMyth, and some spambots
      I assume the top mutants are Kirkles, chemjeff, SPB2, and Mizek.

      And I’m never muting Mizek.

      1. “And I’m never muting Mizek.”

        We all have our guilty pleasures, and favorites

        1. “This is my pet troll; we call him Giggles”

        2. I forgot I muted Misek. That guy is insidious. He starts reasonable and escalates to the Jews are behind it. Every. Fucking. Time.

          If Hihn hadn’t died, I don’t think I could have muted him.

          1. Hihn was a national treasure. UP AND DOWN THE BOARD!

          2. I have a feeling you’ll mute me eventually.

      2. I don’t mute Misek, either. I want to see those anti-semitic sons of bitches out in the open.

        1. I have said something similar about hate crimes. At least you can see the haters coming. It’s the bastards that sneak up on you that do real damage.

          1. Kinda like a publication, party, candidate, or person constantly claiming to be “libertarian” while making arguments and comments that exclusively attack one political faction and benefit its opponent, liberty be damned.

    10. Q1. How many commenters have you muted?
      Just the spambots

      Q2. Who do you think the top ‘Mutants’ (those muted) are?
      Sqrlsy and KAR, then maybe Chemleft, WK, raspberries, AmSoc and Tony. Sarcasmic might be high, but he’s my principle lolcow, so I’m never muting him.

    11. I’ve only muted spambots. Probably about half a dozen or so. No live commenters.

    12. SQRLSY

      Fallacy should not stand without challenge. Ignoring uncritical and false arguments allows them to fester and infect weak minds. But I draw the line at those that engage in the the pant-shitters veto.

      I have seen others cross the line, but that crazy motherfucker lives over there.

    13. No one.

      KAR and Sqrlsy?

      1. I know I bore you, so I assume you muted me.

        1. Nope, not muting anyone. I’m just guessing you’ll get muted the most.

    14. “Q1. How many commenters have you muted?”

      1. I knew you couldn’t quit me you pathetic rummy!

    15. Aside from spambots, the only people I’ve muted are the racist trolls that throw out obscene rants every article. (KillAllRednecks and Pavel-something).

      I can even take Kirkland’s points because he makes some good quips every now and then, and he’s pretty well reasoned when he wants to be. However, those people are a bad parody. Like a preschooler who says the dark lord is evil because he likes poison cookies and plays the organ evilly.

      1. How am I racist? I’m bigoted against a racist church!

    16. As some day it may happen that a victim must be found
      I’ve got a little list I’ve got a little list
      Of society offenders who might well be underground
      And who never would be missed who never would be missed!
      There’s the pestilential nuisances who write for autographs
      All people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs
      All children who are up in dates, and floor you with ’em flat
      All persons who in shaking hands, shake hands with you like that
      And all third persons who on spoiling tete-a-tetes insist
      They’d none of ’em be missed they’d none of ’em be missed!

      He’s got ’em on the list — he’s got ’em on the list;
      And they’ll none of ’em be missed — they’ll none of ’em be missed

      -The Mikado , Gilbert and Sullivan and Hihn.

      1. That’s GOOD!

      2. “and Hihn”

        Hihn was in a band!?!?!?!

  19. Reason allies

    BREAKING: Heavily armed anarchist militia in Portland stop traffic, assault driver at gunpoint while he attempts to defend himself [video]

    1. They are all fighting like girls.

    2. he waited to long to pull his gun should have run them over then shot

      1. Yeah. Never draw from the drop.

    3. The guy’s driving a 4,000 pound weapon. Didn’t need to get out with a gun.

      1. I was thinking the same thing. If he squishes a few with his truck and dies in a hail of gunfire does the Antifa highlight reel still make the internet?

        1. He was outnumbered and out-armed. Antifa has no problem with murder if they can get away with it.

          Oh, and – ACAB – Antifa Commies Are Bourgeoisie.

          1. “Antifa has no problem with murder if they can get away with it.”

            As they have proven multiple times.

    4. Portland is the worst.

      Michael Strickland pulled a gun when he was confronted and then physically assaulted while trying to cover a BLM rally in Portland in 2017 and the DA leveled 50 years worth of charges against him. He got 40 days in jail, community service, probation, fines, had his right to work as a videographer stripped from him for reasons no one can logically explain and ended up homeless.

      These are the same people Strickland was convicted of assaulting pointing big rifles at others for no justifiable reason. Again, the driver doesn’t pull his gun until he is assaulted, but I bet he ends up facing gun charges while the insurrectionists don’t.

      1. So you can restrain yourself, go to prison, and regret the fact that you restrained yourself… or not.

      2. Its better than Texas.

      3. Again, the driver doesn’t pull his gun until he is assaulted, but I bet he ends up facing gun charges while the insurrectionists don’t.

        This is Portland, though, so the Antifarts know they can do this with impunity.

        They get their shit pushed in and don’t come back when they migrate out of their deep blue safe zones.

        1. You must stick out like a sore thumb in Denver

          1. Come to the address I gave you and you can find out.

  20. As Joe Biden and the Democrats continue to use the government to make us sacrifice our standard of living on the altar of climate change, progressives might console themselves with the realization that our sacrifices probably aren’t making any real difference over the long run.

    “Carbon pollution from China’s bustling, coal-intensive economy last year outstripped the carbon pollution of the US, the EU, and other developed nations combined, making up a whopping 27 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.”

    —-Ars Technica

    “China’s carbon pollution now surpasses all developed countries combined”

    China and India have so many coal plants currently under construction, that even if we shut all of ours down, it still wouldn’t make up for all the added coal. See the link I’ll provide below.

    Why would sacrificing our standard of living for no good reason make Democrats feel better? Because just like with all their other issues, it’s the sacrifice itself that makes progressives feel good. If we only sacrificed something when it was in our best interests to do so–because we were getting something better than what we were sacrificing–that wouldn’t really be a sacrifice at all, would it?

    The point of making all you racists sacrifice your white privilege surely isn’t to make the world a better place for racists, and if progressives make selfish Americans sacrifice their discretionary income for climate change, it sure as hell isn’t to benefit greedy American consumers either.

    So relax. Celebrate! As Biden and the Democrats come after our power production, rest assured that, over the long run, the sacrifices we’re making in our standard of living probably aren’t having any real impact on climate change at all.


      Slide it out to 2021 to see all the coal plants currently under construction.

      1. Good link, Ken, thanks!

      2. Wow; holy mother of fuck! Very illustrative.

        So tell me how the “Paris Climate Accord” is anything but a bunch of feel good nonsense?

        1. “So tell me how the “Paris Climate Accord” is anything but a bunch of feel good nonsense?

          I hope the idea is getting across that “feeling good” isn’t nonsense to them, and the thing that makes them feel good is the sacrifice. It doesn’t matter whether the sacrifice is justified by some desired consequences; in fact, a pointless sacrifice feels the best of all because it’s selfless.

          They don’t care about the consequences so much as they care about forcing people to make sacrifices because being willing to sacrifice for a cause is what makes a person good, being willing to sacrifice without any expectation of it paying off is what it really means to be good, and forcing other people to sacrifice against their will is forcing them to be good against their will.

          This is the Spanish Inquisition, where they’re using every power available to force people to be good. This is a society that reverences 50,000 British casualties in a single day at the Battle of the Somme. They jumped out of their trenches and charged straight into the machine guns in human waves. The fact that they sacrificed themselves for nothing doesn’t make it a tragedy in the progressive mind. Because they sacrificed themselves for nothing is what makes them heroes. Enthusiastically making us sacrifice our standard of living for nothing is what makes them holy.

          1. Different war, but

            “Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die. Rode the six hundred.”

            1. People sacrificing themselves for a cause is something I can and do admire, even if it’s sacrificing themselves for their buddies.

              People sacrificing themselves for no good reason is a travesty. Those who are responsible for it should be held accountable.

              The progressives want us to sacrifice ourselves for a cause–but they don’t care if our sacrifices advance that cause. They just want us to sacrifice because it makes them feel like good people–and because they hate the bad people who aren’t willing to sacrifice themselves for nothing.

              1. Me, I like living for something great like Liberty…and outliving those who oppose it. Patton’s words on the object of war loom large here.

            2. Your quote made me realize that Russia hasn’t done anything yet there. It is really surprising that Russia is still screwing around without doing anything further so far in Crimea/Donbas. Those supply dumps are going to start growing legs any day now. Plus, the reservoirs in Crimea were ridiculously low a month ago, and I imagine growing and irrigating season is starting.

      3. +

    2. In many religions, true believers have to sacrifice in order to prove faith and attain spiritual enlightenment. Why should the Church of Gaia be different?

      1. The more you’re willing to sacrifice, the more devoted you are to the religion or the cause.

        Suicide bombers and martyrs are the most devout believers of all because they were willing to sacrifice everything.

    3. I think the idea here, Ken, is to get rid of all our coal plants, develop alternative energy sources, make the costs go down, and then pressure India and China to follow suit. If we don’t do it here first, then we can’t convince India and China to do the same.

      1. “I think the idea here, Ken, is to get rid of all our coal plants, develop alternative energy sources, make the costs go down, and then pressure India and China to follow suit”

        There isn’t any part of that plan that makes sense.

        Coal was already being driven into the ground by cheapness of natural gas, and burning natural gas already releases 40% less carbon than coal. Biden is promising to close all the natural gas plants in 14 years, too.

        No one has been able to pressure Emperor Xi to do anything, and the idea that he would force his own people to sacrifice their already relatively low standard of living for climate change is absurd. You can see his attitude about that in the number of coal plants under construction.

        Emperor Xi will be happy to sell us Chinese manufactured solar plants and wind turbines. In order for alternative energy sources to displace coal and natural gas in the Chinese market, however, those alternative energy sources will need to be competitive with coal and natural gas on a cost basis. Once you eliminate coal and natural gas from the market, you reduce the incentive for solar and wind companies to be cost competitive with coal and natural gas.

        You seem to be imagining things, both that Emperor Xi and Modi can be pressured by outsiders and that the result of eliminating coal and natural gas from competing with alternative energy will make alternative energy competitive with coal and natural gas on a cost basis. What you’re saying doesn’t make sense.

        1. The drop on carbon under Obama was almost primarily due to natural gas, but he still fought it at every step.

          The left doesn’t want a solution, they want a problem they can be activist against.

        2. What have you seen happen since 2012 that makes you think Xi Jinping can be pressured on any issue?

          Name one thing.

          I dare you.

        3. There isn’t any part of that plan that makes sense.

          Exactly. What leverage does the US have in a situation like that? We’ve been outsourcing our labor and our environmental degradation to those two countries for decades.

          What the fuck is the US going to do? “Cut your carbon emissions or we’ll shut down our consooooooooooomer goods factories!” Fat fucking chance.

          1. Yes.

            The only way China and India (and Brazil and Indonesia) embrace renewable energy is if it becomes cheaper than coal and natural gas.

            And that won’t happen if renewable energy solutions aren’t competing against coal and natural gas. If Biden and the Democrats shut coal and natural gas down, the renewable energy companies won’t have the incentive to be less expensive than a non-existent competitor. They’ll get rich selling renewable energy solutions in the developed world without competition, and coal and natural gas will remain the standard in the developing world for a long, long time.

      2. Why is it our need to convince other countries? The majority of our energy should be nukes, storing waste in Nevada which Reid blocked for 20 years. This is due to stability and costs. The actions of China and India should have no concern for the US energy plan.

        Thought you were libertarian.

      3. “the idea here, is to get rid of all our coal plants, develop alternative energy sources”

        The problem is that there are no credible alternatives to coal outside of natural gas, hydro and nuclear, and no new dams or reactors are in the pipeline.
        Solar and wind are basically silly, feel-good fashion accessories, you can’t build an infrastructure around power generation that doesn’t work on cloudy days, calm days or at night.
        Dams and reactors take about 25-30 years to actualize, and nobody’s proposing new ones right now.

        So the West is shutting down power generation, not replacing it with anything practical and then swearing it’ll make every car electric.

        You couldn’t destroy an economy better if you tried.

        1. “…Solar and wind are basically silly, feel-good fashion accessories, you can’t build an infrastructure around power generation that doesn’t work on cloudy days, calm days or at night…”

          One very good reason hardly any sailboats are built without auxiliary power is weather; you get stuck on the weather side of a coast when a storm brews up, you want to be able to motor well off that shore.
          So here’s a guy who builds a powered boat which loses power when weather gets bad.
          These are not serious people!

    4. And yet China remains excluded from all of the climate pacts. The deference to China globally is stunning.

      1. There is a political calculus to this.

        American presidents hate to be seen as feckless, and that can and does drive policy. This is more or less what happened to ObamaCare, too. For political reasons, presidents will settle for deeply flawed policies because they hyped a big conference or a big bill, and if they come away with nothing, it makes them look like a failure.

        Ever see that scene in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, when he totally eats it on his bicycle in front of a bunch of kids, looks up at them and says, “I meant to do that”? That Barack Obama on ObamaCare, the Iran deal, and the Paris accords. Announcing some big press event beforehand and then failing to produce anything makes you look powerless and stupid, so they’ll often settle for something deeply flawed rather than come away with nothing.

        Emperor Xi doesn’t have that problem because he doesn’t have a free press.

        1. No, he has a captive one. Which isn’t all that different from our own “fourth estate,” they are just willing propagandists.

          I recall discussion back in the Cold War days as to why the USSR, as oppressive as they were, did not have any issues with terrorism. The explanation was “why should they, it’s not like they have a public opinion to consider, that would in any way be affected by terrorists acts.” Likewise, any semblance of “public opinion” in China is only what the government wants it to be. They have total and complete control over everything and don’t have to own any of it [which I believe is the actual definition of fascism].

        2. “Emperor Xi doesn’t have that problem because he doesn’t have a free press.”

          Neither did we when Obo was POTUS…

          1. Or now, really.

          2. There were still news outlets that would call Obama out for his bullshit, even if there are far fewer today who would do so.

            Emperor Xi doesn’t have to worry about what the press within China is saying about him at all.

    5. I dont get how banning 2/3 of the worlds population from having a western standard of living is such a popular idea amongst the social justice crowd.

      1. Cheap energy is the number one driver of the dropping of world wide poverty. The social justice crowd hates that fact.

        When given resources, people can succeed on their own.

        The Hondurus president in an interview a year or 2 ago state that they could drop their unemployment/poverty levels to historic lows if they were just allowed 1% of the US market for coffee beans. Instead we have Kamala Harris calling it a climate issue.

      2. “I dont get how banning 2/3 of the worlds population from having a western standard of living is such a popular idea amongst the social justice crowd.”

        Well, they aren’t insisting that China and India make the sacrifices with Biden’s Green New Deal. They’re insisting that Americans make the sacrifices so that people in the developed world don’t need to do so. Americans making sacrifices, that’s what this is about.

    6. No explain how electric cars are anything except marketing hype.

      1. The rest of the industry is transforming itself into Tesla’s image. Some of that is regulation driven but not all of it.

        1. The rest of the industry is transforming itself into Tesla’s image.

          Name a single automobile manufacturer that’s gone completely electric. Chevy had the Volt all-electric before Tesla sold their first car and since converted the line to hybrids. The industry didn’t even adopt the direct-to-consumer/internet sales model that Tesla abandoned. When the industry has been gradually moving to distributing OEM parts and certified used vehicles, even agnostic/sympathetic parties (Rich Rebuilds, Sam crac) openly lament Tesla’s idiotically-terrible, Apple-levels-of-self-entitlement service.

          Which circling more verbosely back to my original point: if we can’t possibly deploy enough electric vehicles to offset China’s emissions (which already skips over the notion that EVs effectively offset emissions), then why would anyone pay more for an equivalent-at-best product with poorer customer service?

          1. They’re all on the way to going electric.

            It won’t happen overnight, but that’s the way competition works. They all want to go electric. Name one that isn’t going electric?


            1. They all want to go electric. Name one that isn’t going electric?

              As I pointed out with the Volt, they were going electric back when Musk was still just a funny smell and well before. Moreover, even then, they were doing so because of regulatory pressure, not because of any intrinsic dominance of EVs.

              “When railroading time comes you can railroad—but not before.”
              ― Robert A. Heinlein

              I’m not arguing electric vehicles aren’t the future. They’re just the 22nd century future and trying to market and sell them today, without a better grid and with the curtailing of nuclear power and the rise in ‘3rd world’ coal production, isn’t just putting the cart before the horse, it’s trying to build and sell trains in the hope of spurring the government to build railroads.

            2. “…It won’t happen overnight, but that’s the way competition works. They all want to go electric. Name one that isn’t going electric?…”

              Well, please name one which isn’t “claiming” to do so, as opposed to “doing” so.
              Aircraft accidents are analyzed by the ‘swiss cheese’ model; because of the built-in redundancies, all the holes in the layers if the swiss cheese have to be aligned to allow the failure; find how that happened, rotate the slice with the biggest hole.
              Here, we have the exact opposite.All of the limits on each issue seem specifically designed to block all the other requirements:
              1) We need far greater generating capacity, but none of the current ‘official’ efforts seem to address that, and (example) in CA, we’re getting ads claiming we have such abundant wind and solar supplies that we ask you quit using power between X and Y. And shut downs of NG plants and fracking.
              2) We need improved grids, but (again, CA) PG&E is spending that money on hoping to avoid wild fires and (at the gov’t level), hoping to deflect fault from the gov’t for years of forest mis-management.
              3) In cities, most cars are parked on the street. In SF at least (and it would not be surprising if it were true elsewhere) residences absent parking are favored by the red-tape squad, those assholes hoping that their minions can be kept from the freedom of car ownership. No garage charging…
              Pretty sure the watermelon fantasy of EVs will run head-first into reality soon enough.

    7. The Climate Cotillion has now determined that output in emissions is rated as parts per person. So China and India are again way down the list. Guess who’s designated number 1?


    America fought its revolution during a brutal smallpox epidemic with a 30% death rate, which is 300x worse than COVID-19. [Meme]

    1. Back when men were men.

      1. ..and sheep were scared.

    2. Heck, the original smallpox vaccine was significantly more deadly than COVID.

      1. Apparently a study came out a couple days ago arguing that people who have had multiple instances of the common cold were less likely to have severe COVID infections. According to what they found, the rhinovirus antibodies helped block the COVID spike proteins that insinuate the virus into the cells.

        Which would probably explain why so many little kids have largely been unaffected by this thing, while the hardest hit are fat people over 60–because kids tend to be little snot-nosed cold carriers, and probably go through most of the school year with some kind of low-grade, asymptomatic cold bug to begin with, while old fat people tend to have weakened immune systems.

        Just another piece showing why people shouldn’t be forced to get the vaccine if they don’t want it.

    3. True enough. We won the Revolution and the Enlightenment experiment for three reasons.

      One, George Washington did his own form of “social distancing” by not entering his troops into hot spots for smallpox, even if it meant retreat.

      Two, quarrantines were real. The infected were made to stay home with armed guards at the doors and no one but the Doctor allowed in or out for the incubation period.

      And three, Washington required his troops to undergo variolation, the precursor to vaccination. Live smallpox pus was smeared into an incision on the arm. Edward Jenner would pioneer injection of the smallpox culture in 1792.

      The result was only 2 out of 50 of Washington’s troops died of smallpox versus half of Philadelphia dropping like flies without the same treatment…anx of course, we defeated what was at the time the biggest empire in the world.

      Enlightenment Reason and Science For The Win!

    1. Biden sent arizona a letter threatening federal civil rights actions if the audit continues. It is amazing to watch.

      1. Posterity is going to look at this period of history and think we were all acting like pubescent middle school kids in a Lord of the Flies scenario.

      2. Obviously the cleanest election ever!

        1. It was fortified!

  22. Stormy Daniels wasn’t an important issue in 2016, and it isn’t an important issue today.

    1. She isn’t but the fact that after something close to 5 years of scrutiny by those who hate his guts, Trump is still skating.
      Guy’s an angel, it seems; I wouldn’t pass that sort of examination clean.

      1. Nobody would. Ten years ago I would have never imagined Trump’s business practices were so ethical.
        But when you have every bureaucrat, taxman and newspaper in the country looking at your finances on an atomic level, and they still can’t find anything, you must be squeaky clean.

        1. This. Jesus, the guy was in New York and New Jersey commercial real estate for 40+ years. He owned casinos, for fuck’s sake! And nothing, corruption wise?

          I agree with whoever wrote upthread that, my finances and business practices wouldn’t survive that level of scrutiny. But NY land development guy’s does.


    2. Horse face indeed.

      1. Didn’t notice the face.

        1. Udderly poignant.

      2. Isn’t that why there’s pronebone?

    3. Lizzie is a lipstick lesbian who is jealous as fuck of Trump and all the action he gets. She has probably stirred the soup to the photo two or three times already.

      1. “She has probably stirred the soup”

        I’ve never heard this euphemism before, and it’s hilarious

  23. “FEC Drops Case Against Trump for Alleged Hush Money Payments”

    Tony hasn’t been around for a while to remind us of the 10 or 12 convictions of those who knew Trump at one time or another for unpaid parking tickets and late library returns.
    Gee, in fact Tony assured us Trump was going to end up behind bars!!!

    1. If you repeat his name three times…

      1. Tonyjuice, Tonyjuice, Tonyjuice

        1. No, no, no!

  24. “South Africa to end captive lion industry, marking a major move for conservation”
    “South Africa is the only country given a special dispensation by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to sell and export lion bones, claws and teeth, and they have to be from captive lions. None of those parts from wild lions can be sold or traded anywhere….
    (Not gonna be any unforeseen consequences there, right?)
    “South Africa’s announcement was praised by wildlife groups that want to see the iconic species left to live in the wild or in recognized conservation parks. They say the captive lion business in South Africa has been marked by disregard for the animals’ welfare in favor of profit.”
    (Want more lions? Make a profit from them. Fucking watermelons…)

    1. The south African legislators kindly ask that you don’t talk about the kick backs they are getting from poachers and smugglers

      1. Read the other day where notorious [RBG] lauded the South African Constitution for being a model to emulate; I’ve not personally delved into the document but noted it’s been regarded as somewhat “Orwellian?”

        1. It’s going to end the same as when Obama banned Americans from big game hunting. The population goes down. The wildlife refuge is Mozambique was massively successful with increasing the elephant population to the point where they had to start introducing lion prides. Then the ban came and it all went tits up. There’s a great econ talk episode with Catherine semcer about it. It might be one of the more libritarian approaches.

          1. “great econ talk episode with Catherine semcer about it.”

            Thanks, I’ll check it out.

          2. “…It might be one of the more libritarian approaches…”

            David Friedman dealt with this (or something quite similar) in one of his books; naturally it’s ignored, since it doesn’t make people ‘feel good’. It just works.
            Of all places, take a look at what the Chi Coms have achieved with their Panda ‘farming’. They were formerly near extinction; now any zoo with good practices (and money) can rent a Panda and drive up attendance.

    2. Yeah, that’s fucking and stupid and will lead to more wild lions getting killed.

  25. “NASA rovers have found “fungus-like Martian specimens” on the red planet, a new paper in the journal Advances in Microbiology says.”

    Primitive life on a “red” planet? Where’s the Rev to tell us how righteous that is? And how long before progressives start moving to Mars in order to register the fungi and turn it purple?

    1. Are you clingers denying the right for Mars fungus to exist? I would have thought you ignorant bigotry to be limited to earth but you clingers keep sinking to newer depts! Mars fungus will have gaurentee rights as we are winning the culture war and ramming our life style down your neck!

      (how did u do close enough, I’m a little out of practice)

      1. You forgot: “Carry on, Clingers!” (A flourish of a cape or something would be good too.)

    2. There’s a libertarian scifi epic to be written about Musk trying to colonize Mars and the federal government trying to stop him with regulation before he achieves independence from Earth and doesn’t need to worry about their laws and regulations anymore.

      The Human Genome Project was billed as something like Bill Clinton’s mission to the moon–proof that the government could do something magnificent again. Then along came some private startups that were about to sequence the human genome years earlier than expected and without taxpayer money. The Clinton administration started throwing landmines in their path to slow them down–bringing up questions about whether private entities should be allowed to own parts of the human genome, etc. He started trying to bully them into sharing their data with the Human Genome Project, etc., etc.

      SpaceX finally stuck the landing on their “lunar” lander the other day–after taking off, going sideways, and then successfully landing in the same spot again. This work for NASA is all a test run for Mars. Musk keeps embarrassing NASA, Congress, and all the major defense contractors by doing things they can’t do much quicker than they can and without taxpayer money for R&D. Musk is even embarrassing Biden and Congress’ funding for the rollout of rural broadband. Sooner or later, they’re coming after Musk because Musk keeps coming after them.

      1. the government does not like competition and Musk starting a free colony on Mars is the ultimate competition. for some reason our government thinks it has legal authority beyond this planet. it does not.

      2. There’s a libertarian scifi epic to be written about Musk trying to colonize Mars and the federal government trying to stop him with regulation before he achieves independence from Earth and doesn’t need to worry about their laws and regulations anymore.

        Musk is 50. At what point do we all collectively recognize that if he is going to Mars, it’s in an urn?

        1. If Musk flies one of his own ships, it’ll do the cremation as well.

          Harry Broderick, played by Andy Griffith on the ABC-TV series Salvage would be the better candidate for any private space venture. And to all appearances, at least he used his own money.

    3. Soon the Chinese will forage the Martian fungus into extinction so they can use it to treat erectile dysfunction.

      1. Boners from outer space!

        1. Great movie

          1. But you have to see it at a drive-in to get the full effect.

      2. Yeah, get a hard-on with a dose of jock itch? They can have it!

    4. “fungus-like Martian specimens”

      When even IFL is mocking the “discovery” you know it’s dubious:

      1. Using red circles and arrows ……
        And a paragraph on the back


      2. Nah.

        If IFL doesn’t believe something, there’s a pretty good chance it’s true.

        IFL is DeGrasse style ‘science’

        1. It is, which is why normally they’d be all over it.

          The globules in the two photos were covered by sand in the first which had blown away in the second. They never grew. And anything from abraded meteorite spatter to CO2 can from those round shapes. No life necessary.

          Also, the article’s right. Both the author and the journal are well known cons.

    1. They need to create the conditions to indefinitely postpone midterms.
      Everyone says, “Oh well, they can just fraud them like they did in November”, but it’s not that easy, and being too blatant could result in an actual insurrection.
      Far safer and easier to just postpone, postpone, postpone.

  26. “Alabama’s House of Representatives voted 68–34 yesterday in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.”

    Alabama legalizes pot? What are they smoking? (oh, wait)

  27. Are we sure the people at reason are qualified to discuss libritarianism? For the last 5 years they have only written both sides bad, but the (D) are better. They haven published much about what the libritarian alternative policies would be or have been in the past. (except stossle)

  28. “Rare piece of art by Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia to be sold as NFT for more than $1 million”

    OK, so what? Well:
    “… It is available for auction on the peer-to-peer SuperRare website, with carbon offsetting by a company called Aerial…”
    I think Musk has found a new way to trade atmospheric gases…


    Inflation is through the roof, our border has collapsed, and unemployment is up.

    Great work by Joe & Kamala.

    “The April jobs report was so bad @CNBC had to double check the number to make sure they read it correctly. [Video]”

  30. A bit of a disaster of a jobs report. Expectations were over 750k jobs added and an unemployment rate dropping to 5.8. Instead only 220k jobs added and unemployment up to 6.1. Most common reason given? Democrats are paying more for people to stay home through enhanced UI and blue states still not reopening. Another reason? The irrational fear driven into idiots over media coverage (most negative coverage of any country) mostly to drive out the president.

    So good work voting for Biden.

    1. Washington and West Virginia are the only states that are not “reopening.”

      1. I’m sure you have a cite for that.

          1. NYC will supposedly reopen in June. Plans to maybe possibly reopen major cities don’t count.

            1. Yeah, chipper’s slip is showing.

              1. This is why I usually don’t bother to cite. It is utterly pointless. The response is always to either attack the source as being biased and unreliable or to engage in goalpost shifting. Partisan gonna partisan. Partisan never admit wrong.

                1. A very brief perusal of that cite reveals a plethora of ‘rstrictions easing’

                  Other than the states that have opened, there seem to be none actually announcing that they are opening. Only that restrictions are easing.

                  “You can go outside unmasked, if you’ve been vaccinated, so long as you maintain 6 ft social distance”

                  Is some of what’s considered ‘easing’.

                  1. Haven’t seen you in awhile. Welcome back.

                    1. I was over watching Quillette die.

                  2. “…“You can go outside unmasked, if you’ve been vaccinated, so long as you maintain 6 ft social distance”

                    Is some of what’s considered ‘easing’…”

                    To chipper, that’s “REOPENING”!; takes a lefty piece of shit to go for that.

                2. “This is why I usually don’t bother to cite. It is utterly pointless.”

                  I would say you either don’t know what a cite is, or your walking it back since you got called on your bullshit.
                  Here’s your quote:
                  “Washington and West Virginia are the only states that are not “reopening.””
                  Nothing in what you claimed was a cite remotely showed anything of the sort.
                  Fuck off.

                3. BTW, I am “partisan”; very partial to liberty rather than statist shits telling me what I may and may not do.
                  It’s a shame you find that a failure.

          2. Yep, restrictions “easing” for the vast majority, not “reopening”.
            And of those counted as “lifted”, how many had restrictions at all?

          3. Lol. So you ignore high schools still closed. Limited reopening of certain businesses. Concerts and large gatherings still largely banned.

            And you cite future plans on reopening to ignore the jobs report for the last quarter.

            What did you call everyone who didn’t attack the president in every post the last 4 years…. guess that makes you a biden cultist.

            1. CA is going to left some restaurants in some counties try to run a business on 1/2 capacity.
              To those sharing Chipper’s comfort with planned economies, that’s “reopening”.

              1. It is amazing the defenses he is putting up for the actions largely of the left with shutdowns. Sure some republicans did it as well, but not at near the levels of the left. Most red states were partially reopened months ago with many GOP governors lifting all state restrictions. My state we only have mask policies because of corporate policies and the stupid democratic mayor going against the state with her “powers”.

                1. Regardless of party affiliations, every one decided s/he was smart enough to ‘outsmart’ the market.
                  And every one of them was and is wrong.
                  End all ’emergency’ mandates and end them NOW.

          4. “I do”

            In case there’s any doubt, no, chipper doesn’t. Chipper lies and then whines when s/he is called on it.
            Lefty asshole called on lefty bullshit, no more, no less.

      2. Where I live in Michigan you literally cannot go anywhere without seeing signs begging for help with starting wage at $13 an hour.

        Motel room cleaners start at $21. I kid you not.

        1. I heard it was good that businesses must compete against increased unemployment payments for labor.

          1. $15 minimum wage is soooooo 2020

    2. Biden just gave a speech and basically said “Uh uh” regarding increased unemployment checks effecting people going back to work. It’s almost like they wrote his speech before the jobs numbers came out, and they changed the speech, but he forgot and brought out the old one.

  31. Is it just me, or has the mere presence of the mute button facilitated a more civil atmosphere here?

    1. Seems several of the lefty jackasses have decided to decamp. Haven’t heard from Tony; the TDS-addled assshole WK doesn’t crap up threads, etc.
      And the real change is the lack of the bots.

      1. I know what you mean; it is actually becoming a place of meaningful discourse and some actual humor; I only joined a few years ago, and I suspect this is how it started out?

        I commented to squirrel a couple of days ago that this mute button did not bode well for him; I think he has taken a sabbatical. I think Arty is brooding somewhere, licking his wounds.

        1. Can’t say we were all civil back in the day (I’ve been posting here for too fucking long), but it wasn’t a steady stream of “fuck off slaver” and “sock puppet” posts.

          1. I personally get a lot from many of the posters here; ideas, information, perspectives that I simply did not know or consider before reading them. I hope that, if I do not contribute as much substance in return, that I am at least civil to those give me no cause to be otherwise.

            1. same – a lot of initially persuasive posts and subsequent debunking or alternative arguments have been most edifying, plus my vocabulary has been ‘fortified’ 😉
              The blatant partisan dishonesty can be tiresome but i am loath to silence those voices with the mute button because the have also contributed to fleshing out ideas in ways i couldn’t have done alone.

              1. Plus adding transparent bullshit such that you can call it the next time it shows up.

          2. “…but it wasn’t a steady stream of “fuck off slaver”…”

            Perhaps that’s a result of a lot more slavers showing up and pitching their commie shit.

          3. I think you’ve been here longer than me.

        2. I’d say it’s more like the people who are likely to get in slap fights with each other aren’t able to do so now if they get muted.

          Overall, though, SQRLS was the only one really shitting up threads Hihnsano-style.

      2. WK was a sock…. look at who is commenting more now that WK has disappeared….

        1. Yeah, but he’s not being a douchebag today, so I’ll play along.

    2. yes ^ 1000000

  32. Headline could/should be “FEC deadlocks on Stormy Daniels’ case”. Also, it would be nice to know the name and party affiliation of the no-show and the recusant. And it could have been pointed out that there are six FEC commissioners, three Democratic and three Republican, an arrangement specifically and deliberately arranged to ensure that each of the two parties can veto any action by the commission. The more you know, right?

    1. Take the loss like a man.

    2. Keep whining, Vanneman.
      Maybe they’ll get him on a jaywalking charge yet, and TDSS-addled pieces of shit like you can REJOICE!

    3. Yes, the FEC was seen as such a terrifying political weapon, that the only way either party would agree to its creation was if they had a veto over firing it.

      The Democrats have ever since been demanding the Republicans’ veto be taken away some how, so it can be weaponized against them, and not just third parties.

  33. <—great article analyzing the origin of Covid (long though)

    1. Thanks, bookmarked it for reading later.

      Since the mute button arrived, this place is looking like a salon of sorts.

  34. Libertarians believe in markets and here to prove it are all the drugs, strippers, hookers, pimps, and violence you can stand in your culture. Good luck!

    1. Proggies think you can pass laws and that stuff will disappear!
      You can see exactly how well that works in practice if you take off your blinders.

    2. When things are prohibited, disputes are settled outside of the law.

      Libertarians figure that if conservatives didn’t have it out for drugs, strippers, hookers and pimps, that there’s be less violence because problems could be sorted out with courts.

      1. Libertarians figure that if conservatives didn’t have it out for drugs, strippers, hookers and pimps

        What a load of shit. Real libertarians know that all legislation ‘for the good of the people’ leads to prohibitions. It isn’t conservatives trying to protect people from menthol cigarettes, malt liquor and fast food. Lefties would shut down all brothels and strip clubs, where conservatives just don’t want them next to schools and in neighborhoods.

        1. So conservatives don’t have it out for drugs, strippers, hookers and pimps?

          I’m not saying progressives aren’t dicks.

          Just saying conservatives aren’t libertarian.

          1. Just saying conservatives aren’t libertarian.

            Sigh. Why would you say that? I know people who are very conservative on fiscal issues and very liberal on social issues. Usually, other than on national defense, that mindset is very libertarian adjacent.

            Even Utah has given up on alcohol prohibition.

            1. And, again, prohibition was a hallmark of The Progressive Movement. More people were living in cities and going to chuch, more were getting drunk and living in the gutter. Progressives adopted religious/moral justifications to oppose the problem legislatively. You’re average pig farmer didn’t have a problem with booze or hookers on their farm or in their county and didn’t necessarily support the problem any more than they support BLM or the Equal Rights Act today.

              1. living in cities and *not* going to chuch

                Damned edit button.

              2. prohibition was a hallmark of The Progressive Movement

                I was already aware of this, as are most people who actually know US history. It is the dogma of people who think they know better than you what is good for you. The Progressives are actually the more conservative movement as their political views have not changed. Population control of the undesirable portion of the population through government interventions. The people sarc refers to as conservatives actually adopted new positions on killing unborn babies, minimum wages and public welfare when the science showed those issues to be untenable.

                Since he already ignored my comment about menthol cigarettes, malt liquor and fast food, I didn’t figure he was keen on admitting which set of values is historically more likely to generate a nanny-state response.

              3. “prohibition was a hallmark of The Progressive Movement.”

                And it’s why the left had to transition to calling themselves “liberal” instead when FDR wanted to get elected after prohibition’s abysmal failure.

          2. pimps

            OK, I let it slide the first time, but now I’m going to need to hear the libertarian case for pimps. No goalpost-shifting about celebrity handlers and booking agents acting as pimps. I need the libertarian case for “Where’s my money, Bitch?” pimps. There’s enough sloppy thinking going on with “conservatives aren’t libertarians” (Massie? Paul? Johnson? Huh.) already. But at the point where you’re defending pimps because you think conservative values and libertarian values don’t 100% align, you’re veering off into stupid territory usually claimed and defended by people like ENB.

            1. “OK, I let it slide the first time, but now I’m going to need to hear the libertarian case for pimps…”

              Too easy:
              Have no idea how you make your living, but there’s a perfectly valid business concept regarding division of skills.
              You don’t send a janitor out on a sales call, even if what we’re selling is cleaning services; the janitor is skilled at cleaning, the sales rep is skilled at finding out what the client wants and finding some way for ‘production’ to supply it at the highest value s/he can get the client to pay.
              That shouldn’t be a mystery to you, unless some skewed ‘morality’ is involved here.

    3. “And can I eats ‘possum ’til I can’t eats no moe?”

  35. “Nick Gillespie

    We “believe in markets, which are really good at delivering things conservatives don’t think you should be doing–violent TV, certain kinds of music, sex work, drugs, you name it.” Me, explaining a rift between conservatives and libertarians.

    In order to keep pretending that their bein pensant wokism is actually libertarian, the Reasonistas need to pretend that 21st century conservatism is 1950’s conservatism.

    Libertarian protip for Gillespie and ENB:
    Libertarianism isn’t just about border jumping, hookers and blow.
    It’s also about uncomfortable things like free speech, opposition to book burning and politically motivated censorship and violence, and deregulation. And not just for the government but as a philosophical principle.

    1. Most(read: 99.95%) “journalists” are afraid to tackle anything that might negatively affect their next move to another company. Which also has a very high chance of being a cesspool of woke.

      You can tacitly critique the left, however, you better have a whataboutism following.

    2. 1950’s conservatism

      And not actual 1950s conservatism, the 1950s conservatism that Reason itself repeatedly points out as being anachronistic.

  36. “…Salt Lake City police conducted an 18-month-long investigation to charge one woman for prostitution…”

    Meuller spent 3 years and never did find anything with which to charge Trump!

  37. And if one person, just one person walked in, saying a bar of Alice’s restaurant and then walked out again….. Well they think she was crazy

    But if two, two people walked in and sang a bar of Alice’s Restaurant….

    One person stood up. Who will join her?

  38. Anyone who actually knows about election laws knows that the reports surrounding these payoffs were nonsense. The news media tried to sell the idea that these were “in-kind” payments to the campaign, and thus illegal if not reported. But payments to a campaign have to be payments to a campaign (I mean, duh), not to a private individual not connected to the campaign. Thus continued the media’s habit of just not applying any kind of thought pattern to items involving Trump.

  39. They obviously never had a case. Like Russia collusion, like incitement, like Capitol policeman dies from fire extinguisher blow to the head, like US soldier bounty, like find the fraud in Georgia, like Trump got rich from being President.
    Every single one a lie to remove remove Trump from office of defeat him in the election. The sad part is it worked, and brainwashed fools like you still believe the lies.
    Do you know Trump donated about $200,000 dollar in his foreign profits to the US Treasury while President? I would bet not, because that was not reported on by the brainwashing media.

    Trump Org donates nearly $200k to cover foreign profits
    abcnews – February 25, 2019,
    The Trump Organization said a check for $191,538 sent to Treasury represents profits from embassy parties, hotel stays and other foreign government spending at its Washington hotel and other properties last year. The voluntary donation is up from $151,470 sent a year ago to cover the president’s first calendar year in office.

    Let us know when Biden donates to the US Treasury from his China profits!

    1. Treasury confirms it received check for Trump Organization foreign profits
      The Hill – By Sylvan Lane – 02/26/18 02:38 PM EST
      The Treasury Department has received a check from the Trump Organization donating the profits that its hotels made from foreign governments, a department spokesperson said Monday.

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