Reason Roundup

Massive Unemployment Spending Attracts Scammers and Criminals

Plus: North Carolina passes cause-based abortion ban as Missouri's gets struck down, conservatives would hate treating social media as common carriers, and more...

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As much as half of money doled out through pandemic unemployment benefit programs may have gone to scammers, says Axios. "Unemployment fraud during the pandemic could easily reach $400 billion," it adds, "and the bulk of the money likely ended in the hands of foreign crime syndicates."

That's an insanely high—and disturbing—estimate, as well as one that seems to vindicate the worst fears about fraud in U.S. unemployment insurance programs.

It's also pretty thinly sourced, coming from one dude—ID.me CEO Blake Hall—with a vested interest in fearmongering around identity theft. His company is in the business of online identity verification. ("I asked ID.me for more specific information and they sent me an argument in favor of their product—which helps verify claims," notes CNN's Zachary B. Wolf.) In addition, one other source—Haywood Talcove, also from a fraud prevention company (LexisNexis Risk Solutions)—told Axios that much of the stolen money ended up in the hands of crime syndicates in China, Russia, Nigeria, and other foreign countries. It's unclear how either source arrived at these estimates.

But that's not to say some serious fraud hasn't taken place. A significant amount of anecdotal evidence does lend credence to their claims. Just last month, "a Nigerian man suspected in Washington state's $650 million unemployment fraud was arrested" trying to flee the country, Seattle Times reports:

Abidemi Rufai, of Lekki, Nigeria, appeared in federal court Saturday on charges that he used the identities of more than 100 Washington residents to steal more than $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington state Employment Security Department during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

Earlier this week, "the U.S. Attorney's Office announced 64-year-old Delma Ruth High pleaded guilty" to unemployment fraud, WDAM.com reports. "According to prosecutors, a local bank alerted the U.S. Secret Service's Jackson office in May 2020 that unemployment insurance benefits from the state of Washington and Arizona had been deposited into High's account under other people's names."

Also this week, "a 28-year-old man suspected of committing identity theft to fraudulently collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits" was jailed, says NBC Palm Springs. "It's believed the suspect stole as much as $316,500 in unemployment benefits from the California Employment Development Department."

Between January and May 2021, the Texas Department of Transportation "received 529 fraudulent unemployment claims filed using stolen identities of employed TxDOT workers," according to KXAN.

And these aren't the only recent examples of such fraud. While the precise extent of unemployment benefit theft may be hard to pin down, there's clearly a significant amount of it happening.

White House economist Gene Sperling blamed lack of oversight by the Trump administration for the fraud. He told Axios that concerns about it were "why we passed $2 billion for [unemployment insurance] modernizations in the American Rescue Plan, instituted a Department of Justice Anti-Fraud Task Force and an all-of-government Identity Theft and Public Benefits Initiative."


FREE MINDS

Cause-based abortion bans keep coming and courts keep striking them down. North Carolina is banning abortion based on race, sex, or Down syndrome diagnosis. Similar bills have been signed into law—and declared unconstitutional—in a number of other states. A federal appeals court ruled just this week that a similar ban in Missouri was unconstitutional. However, an appeals court in April upheld a similar ban in Ohio.


FREE MARKETS

Republicans want to declare tech companies common carriers, but they would hate the results. "More and more conservatives critique social media by arguing that websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google are effectively the modern public square that shouldn't have moderation practices built to balance online safety and free speech," writes Kir Nuthi at Techdirt:

So it's only natural that a proposal like common carriage gained traction in the Trump presidency and has not lost momentum since. Just look at Sen. Hagerty's 21st Century FREE Speech Act.

Some conservative critics think treating these sites as common carriers ticks many of their boxes—less content moderation, less alleged anti-conservative bias, and more regulation of America's tech companies. But they're wrong. Not only is it an unconstitutional solution, its design to work around First Amendment jurisprudence will almost certainly make the internet worse, not better, for conservatives.

[…] Nondiscrimination is a central feature of traditional common carriers, but it is not a feature of social media. Unlike the railroads and communications companies of the Gilded Age, social media relies on the ability to contextualize and discriminate between different content to provide useful information to users. Content moderation is at the center of that, providing websites the ability to balance free expression and online safety to maximize both and make the internet somewhere we want to spend time. Concerned parents shouldn't have to wade through expletives, references to violence, and sexual content just to connect with their friends and family as well as protect their kids online.

The ability to moderate is a feature, not a bug, of social media.


QUICK HITS

• More people worldwide have died from COVID-19 so far in 2021 than died from the disease in all of 2020.

• Two people on the first U.S. cruise ship voyage in more than a year have tested positive for COVID-19.

• Paul Krugman's 10-year history of being wrong about Bitcoin.

• California will appeal a federal court ruling striking down its ban on "assault weapons."

• A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union brands Pennsylvania's General Assembly a "bipartisan criminal offense factory." In 2019-2020, the state legislature "introduced 280 new bills […] resulting in 15 new offenses and suboffenses, passed with bipartisan support that imposed 26 new penalties," notes the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.

• "Authoritarianism without borders":

• Are Republican governments turning against needle exchanges?

"The Labor Department says consumer prices rose 5 percent for the 12-month period ending in May," notes NPR. "That's the sharpest increase since August 2008, topping the 4.2 percent rise seen in April."

NEXT: 12 Years After Free-Range Kids, How Has Childhood Changed?

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  1. https://twitter.com/jeremymbarr/status/1403070999235530755

    Out of the blue, Jeffrey Toobin is back on CNN after being gone for 7.5 months.

    A CNN executive told me that Toobin deserved another chance: “I don’t think that one terrible mistake should define a person or ruin their employment opportunities for life.”

    1. Bet nobody shook hands with him.

      1. Or played “Rock, Scissors, Paper”.

        1. You mean “rock, paper, scissors” right?

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      2. The fact they had a female interview his return was the cherry on top. Directly jerked off to her right after.

        1. 100% chance he did.

    2. “I don’t think that one terrible mistake should define a person or ruin their employment opportunities for life.”

      Unless you us the N word and aren’t Hunter Biden

      1. New York times praised the HS kod who waited 3 years to release a video of a biracial woman using thenn word at age 15. Right after she announced her college acceptance. They also cheered the school rescinded her acceptance.

        VPs son using dad for leverage and money using the n word? Crickets.

        1. He is the exception that proves the rule

        2. Yeah, but at least she can drive. Maybe.

    3. Cancellation is reserved for conservatives and libertarians. We cannot be redeemed.

      1. Yes, Crooked Hillary called us irredeemable back in 2016. 🙂

  2. Oxfam training guide blames ‘privileged white women’ over root causes of sexual violence
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/06/09/oxfam-training-guide-blames-privileged-white-women-root-causes/

    An Oxfam staff training document says “privileged white women” are supporting the root causes of sexual violence by wanting “bad men” imprisoned.

    In the wake of sex scandals that have rocked the charity, Oxfam has produced guidance which states that: “Mainstream feminism centres on privileged white women and demands that ‘bad men’ be fired or imprisoned”.

    Accompanied by a cartoon of a crying white woman, it adds that this “legitimises criminal punishment, harming black and other marginalised people”.

    It advises staff to read a controversial book which concludes: “Mainstream feminism is supporting, not undoing, the root causes of sexual violence.”

    1. Putting rapists in jail causes sexual violence.

      1. In a manner of speaking, that’s sorta true.

        1. Ok, Obi-Wan.

        2. Lol Wut?

    2. Somebody needs to investigate Oxfam and what they’re up to if they’re blaming women for being raped. Kinda like when you come home and your kid greets you at the door with a ” I didn’t throw a baseball through the living room window so if the living room window is broken I don’t know anything about it”.

      1. Oxfam is a big fan of the progressive stack. And socialism:

        On January 22, 2018, Oxfam’s official Twitter feed stated: “At the moment we have an extreme form of capitalism that only works for those at the top. That is why we are calling for governments to manage our economies so that they work for everyone and not just the fortunate few.”

    3. Was it Ibrim x kendi that said black men should rape white women?

  3. “More people worldwide have died from COVID-19 so far in 2021 than died from the disease in all of 2020.”

    Well, Biden delivered the vaccine and shut down the virus in the US like he promised during the campaign. So if other countries are still struggling, we should invite their entire populations to come here and get vaccinated. And if they like living in America, they can stay and provide cost-effective labor for billionaire employers like our benefactor Charles Koch.

    #OpenBorders
    #(EspeciallyDuringAPandemic)

    1. This just shoes that Biden, like cheng is Kahn, is a devout environmentalist!

      1. Cheng is? Shouldn’t that be Genghis?

  4. Two people on the first U.S. cruise ship voyage in more than a year have tested positive for COVID-19.

    And then nothing happened.

  5. ENB on the tear gas thing:

    “No, President Donald Trump didn’t have police shoot tear gas at innocent people so he could pose for a pic with an upside-down Bible. Both the president and his lackeys at certain media outlets want to make sure we’re clear on that. You see, the truth is that Trump had police bombard a law-abiding crowd with a gaseous substance that produces tears.

    You see the difference? Not really? It doesn’t matter. We’re talking about this right now, and that’s what Trump boosters and predator-cop stans want. The more time people spend debating the difference between tear gas and “smoke canisters and pepper balls,” the less focus on the fact that the Trump administration had peaceful citizens attacked so he could pretend on camera to be brave and religious.

    This is the same tactic we’ve seen again and again from the Trump administration: deny, shift stories, and quibble over inane particulars.

    It doesn’t matter if most media or even most Americans don’t really buy the administration’s deflections and lies. The point is to shift the public conversation, give Trump supporters an easy retort to critics, and to present enough reasonable doubt that folks not especially attuned to politics tune out. Getting people to see this as just another far-removed partisan squabble is essential to covering up the heinous and extreme nature of the stunt the administration pulled in Lafayette Square. (For a minute by minute rundown of events, check this out.)
    Last night, the Trump reelection campaign demanded media outlets issue a correction about any tear gas reporting. “Every news organization which reported the tear gas lie should immediately correct or retract its erroneous reporting,” said Tim Murtaugh, campaign communications director, in a statement.

    Trump folks want to pretend that masses of individual protesters and members of the press were lying, in coordination, to trick people into thinking the administration behaved worse than it did. But the fact of the matter is that being tear-gassed and being bombarded with a pepper-spray bomb produce the same effects, and people were reporting on what they had experienced and witnessed directly.

    Accuracy in media matters, of course, and Reason has often been the first to point out when most press is getting a story wrong. But reporting accurately and truthfully means doing the absolute best you can with the facts that are available to you, admitting what you don’t know, and updating your narrative when new information arrives. And it certainly doesn’t mean describing things in exactly the terms that government officials or other powerful people prefer you to use.

    The Trump administration might not want to call the substance law enforcement agents deployed “tear gas.” But under the common understanding of tear gas—”an umbrella term for about a half-dozen so-called ‘riot-control agents’ or ‘less lethal’ chemical weapons” per Mother Jones—and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition, it was.”

    Accuracy in media matters. Will you admit what you didn’t know and update the narrative now that new information has arrived? Whether tear gas was used, or not, your narrative that Trump did it for a photo-op was incorrect. Please update and correct.

    1. The irony is the court link she posted to prove tear gas was used shows it was the d.c. police that used it, which trump had absolutely no control over. Abd it was used a few blocks from Lafayette square. The park police used smoke canisters.

      She linked of course a clipped version of the court statement to push the narrative. She ignored the actual story and has ignored the IG report.

    2. “…Accuracy in media matters. Will you admit what you didn’t know and update the narrative now that new information has arrived? Whether tear gas was used, or not, your narrative that Trump did it for a photo-op was incorrect. Please update and correct.”

      You’re asking a TDS-addled asshole to admit it wasn’t Trump’s fault?
      Better to ask the Pope to bless Satan!

      1. A priestly blessing is not an affirmation or endorsement, it is a prayer – asking for some sort of divine favor. So, the Pope would actually bless anyone who asked for one, up to and including the Prince of Darkness. But maybe not Trump. At least not this Pope.

        1. So what good is a blessing if even Ol’ Scratch can get one? (Not that he’s technically a bad guy since isn’t he the one to whom God sends sinners for punishment?)

    3. But remember, she voted for Jo, and didn’t have a preference between Trump and Biden.

      Also: “and updating your narrative when new information arrives.” Here she admits that she is pushing narratives.

    4. My take on all this is why didn’t they all use tear gas oh wait thats right because if you use tear gas the president and entoruage would not of been able to go there without tearing up. simple science otherwise tear gas all you want.

    5. See You Next Tuesday, Liz

    6. Shorter Knutsack/Buttplug:
      Trump suddenly controls the DC Police somehow just for that event, and the Park Polices files must be lying about using smoke because the JournoListers crafting the narrative have never lied about this sort of stuff before.

      Funny how Buttplug doesn’t think torching a historic church and attacking the Whitehouse is insurrection, but selfies in the rotunda is worse than 9/11.

  6. More people worldwide have died from COVID-19 so far in 2021 than died from the disease in all of 2020.

    I blame SleepyJoe.

    1. I blame the Wuhan Clan.

      1. They ain’t nothing to fuck with.

        1. C.R.E.A.M-Covid Ruins Everything Around Me

  7. Attention white women. If you report being raped you are exerting white privilege.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/davidkurten/status/1402981046124040200

    CRT training documents declare reporting rapes is white privilege because it harns minorities.

    So not only is the training saying rape isn’t that bad…. but it also implies minorities rape more.

    Good work CRT.

    1. I mean, it’s Oxfam. If they’re not the wokest group of people on the planet, they certainly wish they were.

      Jerry Pournelle (RIP) used to say that, “Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide.” I’d change that to wokeism. I have no problem with classical liberalism, but that’s not who we’re dealing with now, is it?

    2. So open season on white Oxfam ladies then?

      Why they’re so intent on creating a white identity for the general population and then oppressing it is beyond me. Oppressing an overwhelming majority is a good way for things to go bad super-fast.

  8. Celebrity made some adjustments to their operations — they traded their usually crowded muster drill with an online version, and self-serve buffets are no longer an option.

    Emphasis added. *That* is a “game changer”.

  9. https://twitter.com/Breaking911/status/1403133557803991041?s=19

    BREAKING: CDC to hold an “emergency meeting” on “higher-than-expected” cases of heart inflammation following COVID-19 vaccination – CBS

    1. Fauci should be hanging by his thumbs.

      1. How dare you try to hang science!

        1. “Le science, c’est moi!”

  10. Drew Holden pulls the receipts of journalists reporting that peaceful protesters were violently cleared out for a Trump photo-op
    https://twitchy.com/brettt-3136/2021/06/10/drew-holden-pulls-the-receipts-of-journalists-reporting-that-peaceful-protesters-were-violently-cleared-out-for-a-trump-photo-op/

    1. The visit came just after Trump delivered remarks at the White House, declaring himself “your president of law and order” and demanding that governors deploy National Guard units and “dominate the streets.”

      1. The emails show plans to erect the fence data before trump exited the white house, Sullum.

        Take it you didnt actually bother with the IG report? You just know you’re right?

      2. Pod/Sullum….give it a rest, will ya?

        And find another screen name.

      3. And? Were any of them shot in the face?

    2. The church visit was praised, however, by a member of Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board, the Rev. Johnnie Moore.

      “I will never forget seeing @POTUS @realDonaldTrump slowly & in-total-command walk from the @WhiteHouse across Lafayette Square to St. John’s Church defying those who aim to derail our national healing by spreading fear, hate & anarchy,” Moore tweeted.

      1. How dare he be against “fear, hate & anarchy”!!! What a monster.

      2. How does this quote prove you are right about trump ordering dispersal?

      3. There’s nothing more Christian than having a boner for Caesar and strong imperial rule.

        1. Nothing more ignorant than assuming you understand Christians when you’re a bigoted atheist.

        2. caw caw!

        3. Somebody has obviously never read a gospel. Jesus made quite clear that the “Kingdom of Heaven” he was always going on about, was absolutely unrelated to earthly political entities.

          Why are all our fifty-centers so thoroughly unread?

          1. Dee’s dumb and isn’t embarrassed by that.

      4. Photo ops like that are fucking dumb. So what? That’s not the issue here.

      5. And? You are pro-riot?

    3. “I think it was !!!!!!very symbolic!!!!!!. I did hold up a Bible. I think that’s a good thing, not a bad thing, and many religious leaders loved it,” Trump told the show’s host, Fox anchor Brian Kilmeade, on Wednesday.

      1. TDS-addled asshole here to prove how stupid you can be in commenting!

      2. Look, sullum. Get over it. ENB was wrong like most of you Reason writers have been the last half decade.

        1. Right, wrong; good, bad: they’re the people with the money, and they wrote what they needed in order to get it.

          Who reads the articles anymore?

          1. They have articles?

      3. And? Why are you so upset about this, and not about the riots, the medis lies, the deep state coup, or the illegal spying by the Obama team that dwarfs Watergate?

        “POTUS had photo-op” is an almost hourly occurence for decades now.

  11. Boston school committee.

    Alexandra:

    Best school committee meeting ever. I’m trying not to cry.

    Lorna:

    Wait until the white racists start yelling at us.

    Alexandra:

    Whatever. They’re delusional. I hate WR (West Roxbury).

    Lorna:

    Sick of Westie whites.

    Alexandra:

    Me too. I really feel like saying that.

    The take away from others in the school system after women resign?

    “Sadly, their departure also leaves a void in Latina leadership on our school committee that I am determined to address.”

    https://redstate.com/alexparker/2021/06/10/two-boston-school-officials-resign-over-being-sick-of-westie-whites-n394966

  12. Black mother torches CRT in the school system.


    “Just coming off of May 31st, marking the 100 years of the Tulsa riots, it is sad that we are even contemplating something like critical race theory, where children will be separated by their skin color and deemed permanently oppressors or oppressed in 2021,” she said. “That is not teaching the truth, unless you believe that whites are better than blacks. I have personally heard teachers teaching CRT and we have had an assembly shutdown because a Duval County Public School System consultant thought it would be a great idea to separate students by race. This is unacceptable.”

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/black-mom-torches-critical-race-theory-its-racist-its-teaching-hate-will-destroy-america

    1. “telling my child or any child that they are in a permanent oppressed status in America because they are black is racist, and saying that white people are automatically above me, my children or any child is racist as well.”

      It’s racism all the way down!

    1. You mean he hasn’t already? He’s really falling down on the job.

      1. He calls it drawing the foul though.

  13. “The Labor Department says consumer prices rose 5 percent for the 12-month period ending in May,” notes NPR. “That’s the sharpest increase since August 2008, topping the 4.2 percent rise seen in April.”

    LOL

    As if we Koch / Reason libertarians are concerned with middle class households and how much they’re paying for milk or bread or fabric softener or whatever.

    All that matters with respect to the economy is this — Are the richest people on the planet getting even richer? And in the Biden Era the answer is heck yes!

    #InDefenseOfBillionaires
    #LibertariansForBiden

  14. Bonta said Thursday that while no single law can fix gun violence, the state’s ban on assault weapons has helped to prevent more serious shooting injuries

    “It has also saved or created thousands of jobs.”

    1. Good paying union jobs.

  15. Massive Unemployment Spending Attracts Scammers and Criminals

    Massive spending on anything attracts scammers and criminals, but what are you going to do when people keep re-electing them?

    1. Thank God Ilan Omar didn’t just announce nationwide UBI. That is fraud free to be sure.

    2. Funny. The state employees – it is the states that hand out unemployment checks – will continue in their jobs as before, secure in the knowledge that their own personal rice bowl is made of iron. Blame Trump if you must, but the Feds, who would have surely screwed up as much as any of the states, had no part in this other than to hand over the money to the states.
      No responsibility for their actions means no consequences.

  16. “White House economist Gene Sperling blamed lack of oversight by the Trump administration for the fraud. He told Axios that concerns about it were “why we passed $2 billion for [unemployment insurance] modernizations in the American Rescue Plan, instituted a Department of Justice Anti-Fraud Task Force and an all-of-government Identity Theft and Public Benefits Initiative.”

    This is one of the ways that blockchain and smart contracts might help.

    It would ultimately come at the price our of privacy, but if I were pushing cryptocurrency, that’s an excellent application–validating that certain people are who they say and did certain things, like register with an employment agency, respond to interview requests, track where that money goes–and whether it all disappears into the same accounts.

    I doubt Democrats, however, really care about stopping unemployment and welfare fraud. They’re much more concerned about tracking our income and making sure we’re not comfiting tax fraud.

    1. Aren’t most unemployment agencies handled by the states abd the feds were giving the money to them to distribute? Even ENBs article states the people scammed Oregon and Washington.

      How do we blame the president for state oversight again?

      1. The power of the trump

      2. Because….Orange Man Bad = How do we blame the president for state oversight again?

    2. It would ultimately come at the price our of privacy

      Can you elaborate? I’m not seeing a great privacy concern, but I might be missing something. Seems like a great way to track payments and make verify contractual compliance. Guess it could morph into a Chinese societal credit system which would be frightening to say the least but that could be said about pretty much anything Washington does.

      1. There’s a danger of a slippery slope fallacy in my thinking here, and I’m aware of it. That being said, . . .

        If we’re talking about the government using something like the Ethereum platform to pay benefits, employees, contractors, etc., using smart contracts and such, and the main benefit is that we’re making everything traceable and trackable, so we know where every transaction goes, who gets what, eliminating fraud, etc., then we’re talking about making the currency in that system something a lot like legal tender.

        Why wouldn’t they want to start accepting payment of taxes in that currency? Over time, they might start mandating that taxes are paid in that legal tender. The IRS loses billions of dollars every year to identity theft and tax refund fraud. If they can eliminate that by giving you a refund in their cryptocurrency, why wouldn’t they want to do that?

        The primary feature of Monero was that although the network activity it passes through is traceable, the currency itself is not. With Ethereum and smart contracts, the primary feature is that the currency itself is traceable. That’s what makes it fraud resistant. And that traceable feature doesn’t go away just because we want privacy. If the banks themselves don’t want to pay out for identity theft and credit card fraud again, they can mandate the use of that digital currency and be done with it forever.

        If and when the U.S. government starts paying out and accepting a digital currency as legal tender–because it’s absolutely traceable, I don’t think we can ever put the genie back in the bottle again. And I see a real danger of progressives starting to be able to control what we can or can’t buy with that currency, or tracing who we exchanged currency with in the past.

        What if you can’t buy ammunition without the government knowing–forever? What if you can’t buy anything without the government knowing? Won’t someone eventually try to use that to control what you can’t or can’t buy, what you can’t or can’t do with your money, etc.? The reason they didn’t track our phone calls and sift through our emails without a warrant in the 1990s was because it was technologically impossible, not because it was illegal. Once it became technologically possible, the law didn’t really stand in the way.

        I don’t need to be a luddite to recognize that there are some serious downside risks associated with the government using their own cryptocurrency that need to be considered before we jump off that bridge.

        1. Thanks for the follow-up. Hadn’t thought about the end of cash. And to someone who lives by the idea of “Cash is King” that is an issue.

        2. “And I see a real danger of progressives starting to be able to control what we can or can’t buy with that currency, or tracing who we exchanged currency with in the past.”

          And a real danger of conservatives tracing who exchanged currency, no? Or is it illogical to worry about conservatives abusing government surveillance?

          1. You just can’t comprehend it can you? A “conservative” in the USA or “right wing” in this context means someone or some group who’s platform is adhering to the Constitution, i.e. individual liberty. Anyone advocating government surveillance beyond that isn’t conservative. They’re a statist, i.e. progressive.

      2. “I’m not seeing a great privacy concern, but I might be missing something.”

        The other day, I think it may have been Suderman on the Reason Roundtable podcast, someone explained that Bitcoin can be pseudonymous but not anonymous. In fact, it is naturally opposed to anonymity and privacy, since there is a ledger of all transactions. I’m not sure if that is true of blockchain in general, or only of Bitcoin.

    3. “This is one of the ways that blockchain and smart contracts might help.”

      It’s interesting that blockchain is being pushed as a way of verifying transactions, yet at the same time we are getting more confirmation than ever that paper voting is the “gold standard” for auditability, and voting information that exists only on a computer is widely distrusted.

      1. Voting doesn’t use blockchain .

        1. White Mike not understanding how things work again.

    4. feature, not bug

  17. https://twitter.com/johncardillo/status/1403144588311859205

    Toobin and Hunter Biden are proof that the left understands war, and the right is a bunch of pussies who suck.

    You can jerk off on cam and use the “n-word” and corporate media will circle the wagons, but a few mean tweets and a tan, Conservative Inc.Trade mark sign will fuck you over.

    1. It was a spray tan, Ra’s. A SPRAY tan.
      I’m literally shaking.
      (/sarc, in case anyone needs it)

  18. https://twitter.com/OttawaHealth/status/1402973646184976389?s=19

    You’ll see the tentacles of white supremacy weaving their way through the “COVID is a hoax/this is just a flu” crowd.

    And yes, the “see more replies” section of this thread will inevitably be full of them, each one saying why their often-racist remarks aren’t racist. (5/10)

    1. Saying you’re not racist is just more proof that you’re racist.

      1. Seriously, completely true. If you push back at all and give reasoning you are:

        – not LISTENing! to POC voices
        – being defensive
        – giving concrete explanations (symptom of wHite supremacy)

        Its at the point where they are basically saying: you are what we say, nothing you can do (but either listen / grovel) and anything else is further proof that you are what we say (rahccist).

        Every day it’s appearing to be more evident that it is just a power grab along race lines. It is completely dependent on how many people will bend over and take it. I have been just laughing when wokester friends try and push this shit. One of them accused me of “acting in a racist adjacent way” and I just laughed again and rolled my eyes. Will probably lose some friends, but meh.

        1. You shouldn’t be friends with people that hate you because of your race.

  19. Memos hint Zuckerberg to continue big spending on Georgia election workers, infrastructure
    Facebook founder’s influence on election process may extend beyond 2020 if Fulton County in Georgia has its way. Newly obtained memos talk of “doubled” future budget in Atlanta area.
    https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/elections/leftover-fulton-county-zuck-bucks-2020-election-may-be-used-future?utm_medium=social_media&utm_source=twitter_social_icon&utm_campaign=social_icons

    Georgia’s largest county, which encompasses the blue-leaning city of Atlanta, received more than $6.3 million in private grants from the Zuckerberg-funded Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) to conduct elections during the 2020 pandemic, but recently reported it did not use all the money last year.

    Now it would like to spend $858,667 in leftover proceeds in the future, according to county election officials’ memos obtained by Just the News under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

    CTCL, which got hundreds of millions from Zuckerberg and his wife to spend during the 2020 election, also hinted of bigger plans for the future in its after-action questionnaire for Fulton County.

    “If your annual budget for elections permanently doubled, what would you be able to accomplish that you can’t accomplish now?” the questionnaire asked.

    Conservatives have raised serious concerns about CTCL grants, saying they appeared to be heavily focused on Democratic election strongholds in 2020 and amounted to an unprecedented back door for private money to influence neutral election judges and administrators. The group counters it was simply helping election coordinators get through an unprecedented pandemic.

    1. Private corporation.

  20. “White House economist Gene Sperling blamed lack of oversight by the Trump administration for the fraud.”

    Flack robot claims something unproven. Yet the fraud is still going on and Trump is out. So it’s Biden’s fault? Because people who didn’t file fraudulent claims last year still never received any payment. And that’s on the states who can’t manage the payments.

    So we have a lying left wing White House trying desperately to cover up the problem with blame shifting, and states unable to handle the work. Recipe for a 2022 election disaster for democrats.

    1. “Recipe for a 2022 election disaster for democrats.”

      We’ll see.

      It’s not happening under the way we currently administrate elections in this country.

  21. “That’s an insanely high—and disturbing—estimate, as well as one that seems to vindicate the worst fears about fraud in U.S. unemployment insurance programs.”

    And remarkably conveniently believed without evidence by people with agendas.

    1. Now do trump/russia

      1. Covid death counts.

        1. Covid origin.

    2. “…And remarkably conveniently believed without evidence by people with agendas.”

      Sorta like you and the other TDS-addled assholes regarding anything at all to do with Trump.

      1. I look forward to such an article from Reason.

          1. I’m sure they have. When do you suppose the last one was?

            1. My search: 2017, Jessie Walker

              1. So they’re due.

              2. NPR was vital to the Reaistance after 1/21/17

    1. Nobody needs 27 kinds of crocks.

    2. The time cover is ridiculous this week too.

  22. At this point welfare is set up for scammers and criminals

    1. A feature, not a bug.

    2. Its a good way for the politically connected to funnel money to their backers.

  23. “The Labor Department says consumer prices rose 5 percent for the 12-month period ending in May,” notes NPR.

    And then explains why this is a good thing.

    1. Shows all the money they are printing is making its way into the market place. Rejoice serfs, soon you will all me millioniares.

      1. Cost of a big Mac $5000

        1. Plus a couple of zeros.

          The nice thing is that everyone’s savings becoming worthless, is that it opens the door for UBI. And when the people are dependent on you for their daily bread, then you have total control.

    2. At least the fraud is 5% less now.

    3. This is a supply issue. Demand is sky high and we got bupkis for supply. Once the supply issues get sorted out, I think inflation goes back down again.

      1. People still ate last year. Inflation on groceries was 4%

  24. https://twitter.com/JesseKellyDC/status/1403040590435176461?s=19

    REMINDER: The System didn’t think twice about dooming people to drown in their own lung fluid if it meant winning an election for Democrats.

    That’s how committed they are to power. How committed are you to stopping them? [Link]

    1. Or burning down their own cities. Same question applies.

      The answer, so far, looks to be, “Not at all.”

  25. “Concerned parents shouldn’t have to wade through expletives, references to violence, and sexual content just to connect with their friends and family as well as protect their kids online.

    The ability to moderate is a feature, not a bug, of social media.

    This is a terrible argument to try and turn conservatives against common carrier ideas–if you’re trying to make conservatives think that vulgarity on social media and children is the issue that will make conservatives change their minds.

    Opposition to abortion is considered misogynistic by progressives. Support for a border wall is considered xenophobic. Opposition to gay marriage is considered homophobic. Opposition to affirmative action and reparations are considered racist by progressives. At least one of these positions is presumably held by every conservative in the country, and all of them are considered “hate speech” by the Democrats.

    As the antitrust cases brought by the Justice Department and the FTC against Google and Facebook proceed, they Democrats who control the Justice Department and the FTC will negotiate consent decrees with the progressives that run Google and Facebook–that “hate speech”, and they will agree to extend Section 230 like liability protections against any company that willingly signs onto the consent decree.

    The Democrats in Congress will both repeal Section 230 and agree to extend similar liability protections to any company that willingly joins the consent decree and abides by the moderation standards in those consent decrees. It will work just like it did when Congress limited the liabilities of the tobacco companies in exchange for willingly signing onto the consent decrees and giving up their free speech right to advertise.

    And make no mistake, willingly signing onto a consent decree in which you agree to forfeit your right to freedom of speech doesn’t violate the First Amendment any more than than signing onto a nondisclosure agreement.

    So, here’s a great reason for conservatives to oppose common carrier: If common carrier rules are put in place that apply to all social media companies, we will probably end up with a system in which conservatives are no longer allowed to voice their opinions, which will be interpreted as “hate speech”, “conspiracy theories” (e.g. about Wuhan and Hunter’s laptop), etc. That is why conservatives should oppose social media all being treated the same by the government.

    What you want is competing moderation standards. Conservatives should want Parler to be free to set their own moderation standards like Fox News should be free to broadcast stories using their own standards. When you go common carrier, you’re inviting the Democrats to write the rules for all of social media–including Gab, Parler, etc. It’s like CNN and MSNBC will be writing the rules by which Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax must operate.

    You think you’re going to make Facebook and Google tolerate conservative opinion, but what you’ll really get is standards that don’t tolerate conservative opinions anywhere on social media.

    1. ^This. Own goals won’t win your team games.

    2. “This is a terrible argument to try and turn conservatives against common carrier ideas”

      It is a very real concern about forcing social media sites to be common carriers. It is quite predictable that conservatives will want to enforce decency rules on what can be said on these common carriers.

      1. You say this as democrats are openly seeking to ban what they deem as hate speech.

        Youre a fucking idiot.

        1. A shill more than an idiot. White Mike is aware of what’s actually happened.

      2. Progressives enforce their repressive rules all over society, you stupid dishonest fvckstik. Except against their own ruling class….

    3. Its fvcking i.sulting all of our intelligence.

      They’ll moderate!? For content? Oh Noes, that could never be good. we should be content with them dishonestly doing that in a completely biased manner now.

      1. Yep. “Out of the frying pan and into the fire” is a nice aphorism. But it doesn’t mean shit when it describes a situation where you are the thing in the frying pan. In that situation staying in the frying pan offers no chance for improvement.

  26. https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1403357592798306311?s=19

    Jill and Ron Klain are heading the Biden faction of the WH and realize Kamala is a threat to them, so they are trying to hang as many albatrosses on her while they can

    Last week Biden announced Kamala is in charge of the federal voting push which is already DOA

    “@JesseKellyDC
    I said it back when it happened: Joe Biden putting Kamala in charge of the border was a gigantic “eff you” to Kamala. He dropped his major scandal in her lap. There’s tension there.

    Sadly, Biden won’t win that war. Father Time is undefeated. [Link]”

    1. Totally how you want a country to be run. Fuck you, Reason.

    2. We can only hope father time picks up the pace a little bit.

  27. Discuss:

    https://twitter.com/amber_athey/status/1403358862242160646?s=19

    Scoop: @chiproytx is introducing legislation today to ban US land purchases by members of the Chinese Communist Party
    [Link]

    1. He should really start with banning the purchasing of Members of Congress…

      1. There goes Pelosis money

  28. https://twitter.com/JeffGremillion/status/1403139547672743940

    Great thread from
    @DrewHolden360
    . The Trump-gasses-protestors-for-photo narrative, which coincided with Biden overtaking Trump in the polls, was omnipresent. And, like “Hunter’s laptop is Russian disinformation” and “it’s racist to say maybe it was a lab leak,” now a proven lie.

  29. https://twitter.com/HansMahncke/status/1403147432058310659

    Big scandal brewing in Germany. Hospitals lied about ICU availability to get more money. Merkel government knew hospitals were inflating ICU problem to get more money, but went along with lies to scare the public into ever harsher lockdowns.

    1. Luckily, nothing like that could ever happen here.

      1. Luckily schools didn’t do just that for billions of dollars.

  30. “It’s unclear how either source arrived at these estimates.”

    They changed the titles on the global climate warming change graphs – – – – – –

  31. https://twitter.com/_BarringtonII/status/1403197403474321410?s=19

    Think about this. The G7 Summit taking place right after a global pandemic in which all countries and leaders of those counties are on record stating the same phrases alluding to the new world we are about to live in. I really wonder what’s about to be talked about.

  32. People who want common carrier status for social media forget the days when the Big Three networks were essentially common carriers, and had to operate by the Fairness Doctrine.

    We got to hear both sides. The two sides the government wanted us to hear. It was Republican pablum and Democrat pablum. And that was just the news. The non-political shows were so watered down and bland, I can’t watch them today despite the yuge nostalgia factor. The only thing interesting on television were the low power alternative stations one might catch late at night when the weather was right. Some crazy John Bircher, for example.

    As much as I dislike the crazy John Birchers, I would rather have all those cable access channels and low power stations than a big three government approved cartel.

    So I don’t want common carrier status for stuff that IS NOT COMMON CARRIER. Your power lines are common carrier. Maybe you can make a flawed argument that the internet service providers are common carrier. But apps running on top of the internet cannot by definition be common carrier.

    Common carrier means the government can regulate the government mandated power distribution monopoly, but it doesn’t mean they can control what appliances you can plug into your power outlets. That you turkeys want to the government regulate what I can say on the app of my choosing means you don’t have the first clue what free speech is all about.

    1. Democrats want social media to be common carrier because they still feel that Russia stopped Hillary from being coronated, and Republicans want social media to be common carrier because they feel that the censors are out to get them.

      Both sides want this for the same reason: they feel it will give them an edge in the next election.

      Neither side gives a rat’s ass about anything else.

  33. As much as half of money doled out through pandemic unemployment benefit programs may have gone to scammers…

    One hundred percent because the pandemic lockdowns were all a scam.

  34. Republicans want to declare tech companies common carriers, but they would hate the results.

    Libertarians pounce.

  35. More people worldwide have died from COVID-19 so far in 2021 than died from the disease in all of 2020.

    Thank you, Mr. Trump.

    Boooooo, Mr. Biden.

  36. Two people on the first U.S. cruise ship voyage in more than a year have tested positive for COVID-19.

    Keelhaul them!

  37. California will appeal a federal court ruling striking down its ban on “assault weapons.”

    They’ll give up their ban when you pry it from their cold, dead hands.

  38. A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union brands Pennsylvania’s General Assembly a “bipartisan criminal offense factory.”

    There is zero reason for Pennsylvania having a full-time legislature and so many reasons passed every session for it not to be.

  39. The Labor Department says consumer prices rose 5 percent for the 12-month period ending in May…

    Phew. Just so long as our dollar isn’t worth less.

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  41. Why did the Politico story fail to include the fact that now all the states allow syringe and needle sales without a prescription? Why are we still doing needle exchanges under such circumstances? When they started, they were an exception to state laws against such dispensing, or in forbearance of them, but now what’s the excuse?

    It’s like continuing law enforcement programs against human sex trafficking in a place where prostitution has become legal. Or truancy enforcement where home schooling is legal. The analogy isn’t that close because needle exchange isn’t some “gotcha” law enforcement program, but needle exchange where needles are legal is such a mindfuck I can’t think of a closer analog that’s like anything that’s actually going on.

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