Reason Roundup

Facebook Faces Federal Monopoly Lawsuit Again

Plus: Warren versus grocery stores, Cruz versus the FBI, DOJ's new domestic terror unit, why so many people are quitting their jobs, and more...

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The federal government's monopoly lawsuit against Facebook is back. The past few years have made it abundantly clear that the feds have it out for Facebook, what with the plethora of congressional hearings about the social media giant's practices and an antitrust lawsuit against it filed in December 2020. The lawsuit, from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), alleged Facebook was an illegal monopoly and argued for its forced breakup.

It came to a somewhat embarrassing pass last summer, when the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the FTC had failed to actually show that Facebook was a monopoly. "The FTC has failed to plead enough facts to plausibly establish … that Facebook has monopoly power in the market for Personal Social Networking (PSN) Services," Judge James E. Boasberg wrote in a June 2021 opinion.

He granted Facebook's motion to dismiss—but left room for the FTC to try again with an amended complaint. The agency did so, and Facebook once again asked for it to be dismissed.

This time, Boasberg said no.

The FTC's amended complaint contained "significant additions and revisions aimed at addressing the shortcomings identified in the Court's prior Opinion," writes Boasberg in his new memorandum opinion. "The core theory of the lawsuit remains essentially unchanged" but "the facts alleged this time around to fortify those theories, however, are far more robust and detailed than before, particularly in regard to the contours of Defendant's alleged monopoly."

The government "may well face a tall task down the road in proving its allegations," notes Boasberg."Ultimately, whether the FTC will be able to prove its case and prevail at summary judgment and trial is anyone's guess." 

But Boasberg believes there is enough there to proceed with the case rather than dismissing it out of hand. "That holding flows from several conclusions," he explains:

First, the FTC has now alleged enough facts to plausibly establish that Facebook exercises monopoly power in the market for PSN services. Second, it has adequately alleged that the company's dominant market share is protected by barriers to entry into that market. Third, the agency has also explained that Facebook not only possesses monopoly power, but that it has willfully maintained that power through anticompetitive conduct — specifically, the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. The Court will not, however, allow the allegations surrounding Facebook's interoperability policies (also known as the Platform policies) to move forward; they
founder for the same fundamental reasons as explained before: Facebook abandoned the policies in 2018, and its last alleged enforcement was even further in the past.

You can read the whole opinion here.

For more background on the bipartisan antitrust crusade against Facebook and other big tech companies, check out my cover story from Reason's July 2021 issue. It delves into why both Democrats and Republicans are backing antitrust action against tech companies and why many of their arguments are overblown or bunk.

In other antitrust news:

• Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) is expanding her antitrust obsession to grocery stores, accusing lack of competition in the industry of being behind inflation, which is at its highest point in 40 years. (Talk about scapegoating business for government failure…). As many people have pointed out, grocery stores have extremely low profit margins. Warren's argument also fails in the face of the fact that people have more options for where to buy groceries than ever before.

• The American Innovation and Choice Online Act is getting the Senate Judiciary Committee workup this week. Bill co-sponsor Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) says it will "implement common sense rules" for tech platforms. Read our previous criticism of that idea (and other popular antitrust legislation) here and more concerns about the bill here.


FREE MINDS

This can't be good for civil liberties: The Department of Justice (DOJ) is launching a new domestic terrorism unit. "This group of dedicated attorneys will focus on the domestic terrorism threat, helping to ensure that these cases are handled properly and effectively coordinated across the Department of Justice and across the country," Matthew G. Olsen of DOJ's national security division told the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.

The committee hearing on domestic terror threats led to a heated exchange between Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas) and the FBI's Jill Sanborn, with Sanborn refusing to say whether FBI agents participated in the January 6 Capitol riot last year:

Cruz "lambasted Olsen and Jill Sanborn, the head of the FBI's national security branch, for not answering certain questions about Jan. 6-related criminal charges or about whether any FBI informants encouraged or participated in the violence," notes The Washington Post:

"Your answer to every damn question is 'I don't know, I don't know, I don't know,' " Cruz railed at Olsen. To Sanborn, he suggested that undercover FBI agents or informants may have spurred on the rioters — an assertion for which there is no known evidence but which Sanborn would not categorically rule out.

"Ms. Sanborn, a lot of Americans are concerned that the federal government deliberately encouraged illegal violent conduct on January 6th," Cruz said, asking her whether that was true.

"Not to my knowledge, sir," she replied.


FREE MARKETS

Labor market puzzles. How do we explain the high numbers of people who have been quitting their jobs? "At present, there are a lot of conjectures floating around," writes Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum, a center-right think tank focused on economic policy. "At the peak of the stimulus payments, there was conjecture that people were quitting to live on their checks. There is also anecdotal evidence of early retirements and reallocations as people moved to new locations during the pandemic. There is a lot of chatter about people re-thinking their priorities and quitting for a job that has a better 'fit' in light of pandemic lessons learned."

"But the main story is likely to be much simpler," suggests Holtz-Eakin. "People quit when the labor market gets tight enough that employers are competing for workers and offering more – more wages, more benefits, more flexibility, more whatever – in order to hire them."

Nick Bunker, director of economic research at the Indeed Hiring Lab, told something similar to CNBC in November: "The 'Great Resignation' is more a story about strong demand for workers, rather than a rethink of work among higher-income workers."

However, government data suggest that there are a large number of people who left the labor market and aren't currently looking for a new job.


QUICK HITS

• Some interesting new COVID research: "Hemp compounds identified by Oregon State University research via a chemical screening technique invented at OSU show the ability to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from entering human cells."

• Two Los Angeles police officers who chose Pokémon Go over responding to a robbery have lost their appeal to keep their jobs.

• "The transition to endemicity was always going to be in part a psychological one," suggests The Atlantic's Sarah Zhang, "in which people slowly let go of the idea that COVID must or can be avoided forever. Omicron has simply made that clear very quickly."

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may update guidance to say that not just any old masks will do.

• "A ransomware attack last week has left an Albuquerque area jail without access to its camera feeds and rendered automatic door mechanisms unusable," The Verge reports.

• North Carolina voters are trying to prevent Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn—an ardent Trump supporter and the youngest member of the current Congress—from running again. "A group of 11 North Carolina voters filed a legal challenge to disqualify Rep. Madison Cawthorn from running for a second term, arguing his involvement in a rally preceding the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on Capitol Hill constitutionally bars him from waging another campaign," according to The Hill.

NEXT: Will New York Copy California's Most Successful Housing Reform?

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  1. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is launching a new domestic terrorism unit.

    THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR FINALLY COMES HOME.

    1. If you've nothing to hide, you still have everything to fear.

      1. Get $192 of an hour from Google!…Yes this is Authentic as I just got my first payout and was really awesome because it was the biggest number of $24413 in a week. (qd02) It seems Appears Unbelievable but you won’t forgive yourself. if you do not check it go this site…… CLICK NOW

    2. It is only a matter of time before the FBI comes here, wanting to hunt down commenters.

      1. FBI's Jill Sanborn: "I can't answer that."

        1. The J6 committee promises us that Epps was not part of law enforcement for Jan 5th or Jan 6th. Then again, it was so carefully parsed it could mean he wasn't working a shift on those days, was a non law enforcement agency, etc.

          Kizinger's tweets defending him and almost calling Epps a hero was a literal case of someone protesting too much. The DoJ has actively arrested and sentenced people for merely crossing an imaginary fence line Epps was helping remove so protestors couldn't see the line. He was outside the capitol, but well within that line the DoJ said was the marker for trespassing.

          1. "On the broader issue. Let's say Ray was an agent (HE IS NOT), the premise is that one agent can gin up a crowd to insurrection. That isn't saying much about the intelligence of your voters is it Ted [Cruz]? The rioters had formal education, owned businesses etc," Kinzinger added.

            So why, vote to impeach Trump, Adam?

            https://www.newsweek.com/ray-epps-jan6-fbi-conspiracy-theory-1668400

            1. Yeah, his entire comment thread undermines the whole purpose of his committee.

        2. Here are 7 at-home jobs that pay at least $100/day. And there’s quite the variety too! Some of these work-at-home jobs are more specialized, others are jobs that anyone can do. They all pay at least $3000/month, but some pay as much as $10,000.
          GO HOME PAGE FOR MORE DETAILS………

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      2. Matter of time? Preet and his buddies have been reviewing what we say for a long time now.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preet_Bharara

        1. Didn't see where we were mentioned.

          1. 2.8 Reason magazine subpoena

            1. https://artofthelie.org/
              Trump vs O'brien: Trump lied 32 times under oath on the stand. He sued this book company and the author because it said he wasn't a billionaire. He had months to prepare to testify about his net worth. Unbelievably the first question was "What is your net worth?" He was unprepared so he went into lying mode. He said "It changes by how I feel." The Judge would normally throw the case out, but he let the defense ask 31 more questions which Trump lied on each one. Case was thrown out. They proved he was lying and only worth about 1/20,000 of what he was lying about.
              Why are you protecting a worthless piece of crap?

        2. This may cause some in the commentariat to feel chipper.

          1. Just a little woody.

      3. They literally already have. Hence the many woodchipper refrences

        1. Surprised Reason didn’t create an NFT commemorating this. I imagine some here wood chip in for something like that.

    3. I know our resident progs will greet this news with rejoicing. I guess they don't realize this will end up biting them in the ass someday.

    4. When do the drone bombings of Americans at home begin?

      1. I'm betting before the end of this administration.

      2. I'm surprised it took this long. It's been over 10 years since we started targeting Americans abroad.

      3. That's not necessary in the Information Age. They can bring your life to a screeching halt with a few mouse clicks.

        1. They have way too much power.

  2. .@SenTedCruz: "Did any FBI agents or confidential informants actively participate in the events of January 6th? Yes or no?"

    FBI's Jill Sanborn: "I can't answer that."

    Did any not?

    1. (Clean shaven, square jawed, polo shirt, white male in their 30's, in black shades walks up to you)

      "Hello fellow insurrectionists!"

      1. There still doing it.

        I just watched a breathy CNN video of 30-50 masked 'racist, right wing' protesters marching the other day.
        Every single one of them was 5'10" to 6'2", not just svelte but athletic, and walk-ran doubletime the whole way. They didn't look around, or chat to each other, wear camo, take pictures or do anything to indicate that they even knew each other.
        It was beyond obvious that they were all FBI.

        What I wonder is why the FBI is having a team of agents stage events for the television cameras? They aren't infiltrating anyone because they're the only ones holding the event.

        What's the point aside from propaganda value?

        1. obvious? There are at least 18 intelligence agencies, but I wonder why you think your FBI opinion is the only possible answer? You have proven many times, just with me (invisible) you don't have any common sense.

          1. Because the FBI does it all the time?
            - Name the Gretchen Whitmer kidnap plotter who wasn't FBI.
            - In May 1970, an FBI agent burned down a building at the University of Alabama during protests over the recent Kent State University shootings. The police then declared that demonstrators were engaging in an unlawful assembly and arrested 150 of them.
            - FBI agent nicknamed “Tommy the Traveler” visited numerous New York State colleges, posing as a radical member of Students for a Democratic Society. He encouraged acolytes to kidnap a congressman and offered training in Molotov cocktails. Two students at Hobart College acted on his suggestions and firebombed the campus ROTC building.
            - An FBI agent who said he was a member of the John Birch Society, helped assemble time bombs and placed them on an Army truck.
            - An FBI agent in the Weather Underground took part in the bombing of a Cincinnati public school.
            - A prominent member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War — and FBI agent — pushed for “shooting and bombing,” and his advocacy apparently did indeed lead to a bombing and a bomb threat.
            - An FBI agent in Seattle drove a young black man named Larry Ward to a real estate office that engaged in housing discrimination and encouraged him to place a bomb there; the police were waiting and killed Ward.
            - Thirteen Black Panthers were accused of a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty after receiving 60 sticks of dynamite from an FBI agent.
            - After 28 people broke into a federal building to destroy draft files in 1971, an FBI agent bragged, “I taught them everything they knew.”
            - In 2008 environmental activist Eric McDavid was sentenced to 20 years in prison for plotting to damage the Nimbus Dam in California. Eight years later, a judge ordered him released because the FBI had withheld evidence regarding the FBI's involvement.
            - In 2012, the FBI created a plot to blow up a bridge in Cleveland out of whole cloth, and dragged five Occupy activists into it.

            For decades, local police and FBI have sent undercover officials to participate in — and escalate — protests. - The Intercept, June 2020

            You have proven many times, just with me, you're either astonishingly ignorant or profoundly dishonest, sarc.

            1. I can give you 100s of examples of the other agencies doing stuff but that doesn't give me the right to claim another instance is any one of them. Fox News and Republican lawmakers push new false flag conspiracy that FBI orchestrated US Capitol attack. The haywire theory originated from an article published Monday by Revolver News, a right-wing website. From there, it was picked up by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who used his opening segment on Tuesday night to slam the FBI, saying it played a role in the January 6 attack.
              Several Republican lawmakers quickly piled on. They entered the article into the congressional record, tweeted about the Fox News segment, condemned the FBI agents who supposedly "organized and participated" in the Capitol attack, and demanded answers from the FBI director.
              But here's the problem: The underlying article was nothing more than a conspiratorial web of unproven claims, half-truths and inaccurate drivel about perceived bombshells in court filings.

              1. "I can give you 100s of examples of the other agencies doing stuff"

                Doing "stuff" or doing that "stuff"? Because I'd be interested in hearing about it.
                This isn't the CIA, ATF or NSA's jurisdiction, so I'd be interested to read why you think they'd play agent provocateur with American political groups.

                But here's the actual problem: For all the dishonest bullshit you just typed, the FBI refuses to answer the committee as to whether the FBI had agents in the Capitol on Jan6, and Epp's definitely FBI.

                Just like your fire extinguishers, smeared poop and zip-ties, this is just another part of your Big Lie.

                1. “Throughout 2020, the FBI alerted its partners of the threat of domestic violent extremism, including warning that the threat posed by violent extremists with partisan political grievances was likely to increase through the 2020 presidential election and beyond,” spokeswoman Cathy Milhoun said in the statement. “In the lead-up to Jan. 6, the FBI was actively engaged in gathering intelligence, disrupting travel, and sharing information with our partners. The FBI specifically warned state, local, and federal partners about the potential for violence at the Jan. 6 events.”

                  1. Oh, well if the FBI promises that they were being good, then there's no reason to disbelieve them.
                    Sure they lied thousands of times before, but this time they're being good.

                    1. Douchebruce is a bot.

                    2. Did you find that Michigan Man of the Year award that Trump was lying about? It should be easy since they must have had one every year for decades. Was he lying? Simple yes or no? To give you a small example of how much of a pathological liar Trump is, he hung ALL his trophies and awards on his golf course walls (no MMOTY award) even his four fake TIME magazine covers. The March 1, 2009, cover was identified as fake. Do you STILL think he never lied?
                      https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/time-asks-donald-trump-s-golf-clubs-remove-phony-magazine-n777546

                    3. Oops, time to change the subject huh?

                      Anyway, yes I did and Trump wasn't lying. I fisked your stupidity the last time you mentioned it, and it was yet another case of you not reading your links.

                      The article clearly stated that Trump received a presentation from the Michigan Republican party which was clearly what Trump was referring to. Your article was an elementary school level of sophistry.

                      Everything you idiots do is lies. You're too stupid to be here. Huffpo is over there. ===>

  3. The cop who shot Ashli Babbitt was never actually interviewed by the DoJ or any other agency. He was never forced to testify under oath or provide his reasoning prior to simply being cleared.

    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2022/01/06/capitol_police_officer_who_shot_ashli_babbitt_refused_to_answer_investigators_questions_810720.html

    1. That is insanity. Talk about a double standard. If McCarthy becomes Speaker, he should summarily dismiss Lt. Michael Byrd.

      (Still was a legal shoot, though)

    2. He was never forced to testify under oath.

      Good, forcing people to make a statement is an illegal violation of any citizens 5th amendment rights.

      1. Absolutely right. I think that what happened to Babbit would have been condemned by all the usual parties if the parties had been reversed, but no one- even a police officer- should ever be "forced" to testify against themselves.

        1. What if it's not a cop but a stazi enforcer?

        2. You can't be force to testify against yourself but they can at least ask questions which they didn't

      2. So he should at least be forced to assert his 5th amendment rights, or was your point that cops should be allowed to execute the rest of the citizenry without explaining themselves?

        1. Yes, the later was my exact point. You must work in the Kenosha prosecutors office with that level of deductive reasoning. And just to be clear because I wouldn't want your deductive reasoning skills to overload your brain, I'm being sarcastic.

        2. ^this

          Police are not allowed to determine a point at which, "if you cross this line, you will be shot." The SCOTUS has been clear that the perception of an immanent threat is required to justify a lethal response.

          As Byrd was directly responsible for a homicide, he should have to present argument that there existed a threat which caused him to fear for his life or the life of others. If there was no threat, then he committed murder. Lacking a statement, how can they justify not bringing charges? If there was a statement, why hasn't it been made public?

          For me, I want to know why he didn't order her to surrender before firing. This needs to be on the record.

      3. He would have been free to invoke his 5th amendment rights in that case, he was never even asked to provide testimony under those terms.

        1. The lawyer's account appears to be backed up by a January 2021 internal affairs report, which notes Byrd "declined to provide a statement,” D.C. MPD documents show.

          Above from your link.

          1. They noted that he admitted to Holt that he never actually saw Babbitt, who stood 5-foot-2 and weighed 110 pounds, brandish a weapon.

            "I felt threatened. I was going to shoot somebody, and she was the first to come through."

            If they can get past QI, the civil suit is going to be a slam dunk.

            1. Her family will most likely win their civil suit, QI not withstanding - Bryd maybe off the hook but the taxpayer will pay.

    1. LOL! They think he will be alive in 2024?!

    2. Of course the GOP was far better in the early 2000s neocon era. And I'd certainly like to see the Cheneys and Kristols and Frums have more influence. Still, it's problematic to exclude Harris from 2024.

      #LibertariansForHarris

    3. Desperate times call for desperate measures but this takes the cake.

    4. Progressives in 2004: "Boo neocons!"
      Progressives in 2024: "Yay neocons!"

      1. https://www.vogue.com/article/donald-trump-lies-200-days
        There is quite a lot of sites loaded with his lies and you lie just to cover up one pitiful lie, why? Do you get paid by the lie?

    5. Kind of goes to show who's working for who.

    6. As was Tweeted...even for Friedman, that was a really Friedman take.

      1. cool story, brah

        1. cool story, brah.

          ...you are really bad at this,db

          1. You need to put a space after the comma and the db. that is why there is a red line under it. You are out of your league, go back to the minors. This is my last contact with someone who doesn't know how to write a simple sentence.

            1. Fuck, are you seriously trying to grammar check damikesc?

              In this very thread you have walls of text with missing diacritics and run on sentences.

              You're too stupid to be here. Huffpo is your real home.

              1. You lied again, the Republican party gave Trump an award, yes, Republican of the year. As you should be able to see, it was NOT the Mich. Man of the Year that you and Trump lied about. Changing the subject won't do you any good. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/24/trumps-false-or-misleading-claims-total-30573-over-four-years/

                1. That's obviously what he was referring to. Toddler-level sophistry won't trick anyone, sqrls.

                  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/11/trumps-lies-about-coronavirus/608647/
                    His virus lies were his worst because some of them killed people. He could have avoided killing those people by telling the truth that he didn't know anything and left it to experts, but no, he had lies that kill. Why do you cover up for a mass murderer?

  4. The consumer price index rose 7% in December from a year ago, according to a new Labor Department report released Wednesday, marking the fastest increase since June 1982, when inflation hit 7.1%. The CPI – which measures a bevy of goods ranging from gasoline and health care to groceries and rents – jumped 0.5% in the one-month period from November.

    Price increases were widespread: Although energy prices fell 1.1% in December from the previous month, they're still up 29.3% from last year. Gasoline, on average, costs 49.6% than it did last year. Food prices have also climbed 6.3% higher over the year, while used car and truck prices – a major component of the inflation increase – are up 37.3%. Shelter costs, which make up nearly one-third of the total increase, jumped 0.4% for the month and 4.1% year-over-year, the fastest pace since February 2007.

    Who knew spittin tobaccy was used in so many products.

    1. The real horrible thing here is that CORE CPI was up like 5.5%. That once again puts egg on the face of people like SPB who insisted just three months ago that once you remove energy costs from the CPI (which is what Core CPI is for) inflation wasn't that bad.

      But that likely won't keep him from being here in an hour telling us that the CPI numbers are good news because now energy is flat, trending down. Because when it is up, it's irrelevant and when it is down, it is a good thing.

      1. Oil and gasoline were trending down throughout much of November and December, but they’re now starting to head back up again. Which is not too surprising given that America and the northern hemisphere are now in the deep freeze of winter. In much of the country the cold weather came late this winter, but it’s here now!

  5. "Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) is expanding her antitrust obsession to grocery stores, accusing lack of competition in the industry of being behind inflation, which is at its highest point in 40 years."

    Not according to the Reason comment section's leading economic analyst.

    He says the i-word is a myth created by shady anti-Biden websites (collectively "wingnut.com") who realize Biden is doing so well it's impossible to criticize him in an honest manner. So they just make stuff up. Like when they made up a lie about his handling of Afghanistan being embarrassingly incompetent.

    #DefendBidenAtAllCosts

    1. Wait OBL....what do I make of the US Labor department stating inflation was up 7%? Are the government numbers lying bullshit? There really isn't HAPERINFLATION except for chewin' and spittin 'tobaccy?!

      1. Maybe the Russians are behind such misinformation. Putin might have a pee tape involving one or more Labor officials.

        #InflationIsAWingnutMyth

        1. If the Russians have a pee tape of Biden, it's probably when he's alone.

          1. Every tape is a pee tape of Biden. The incontinence guards in his undies are doing double duty.

              1. Umm.. Trump was right in both links? I don't even understand what they're bitching about.

                "If you like your lightbulbs, you can keep your lightbulbs! The Obama Admin tried to limit Americans to buying more-expensive LED bulbs for their homes—but thanks to President
                @realDonaldTrump, go ahead and decorate your house with whatever lights you want. "

                Seriously, how do you and the NPR even think it's a problem? You don't actually even read what you link, do you.

                1. My point was he LIED for years, which is an undisputable fact. That he tried to get out of a LIE by claiming he was confusing his LIE with another award he "did" win, doesn't change the fact that the LIE he made up, "Michigan Man of the Year" is a thing he made up in his head. He has spent his whole life telling LIES, which has been complicated by his bad memory or Alzheimer's like his dad. I am still waiting for your proof of any Michigan Man of the Year award or were you just LYING? Do you understand now?

                  1. None of it was lies, Sqrlsy you gibbering moron. Just because NPR's mad about Trump liking full-flow dishwashers, doesn't make his preference a lie.

                    Read the article before you link it, retard.

                    1. So, you found the Michigan Man of the year award? If none of it was lies, how come you, me or anyone else can't find the award. It should be easy since they must have had one every year for decades. Trump was honored with a Man of the Year award at an event in Michigan five or six years before he “thought about running” for president. Snopes: We looked into whether such an award existed, and if Trump actually was a recipient. No journalist or news organization has ever found this to be the case. Given that multiple news organizations tried and failed to find proof of Michigan’s so-called Man of the Year award in the years since Trump first started making this claim, we rate this claim as “False.”
                      Was he lying? Simple yes or no? The other part was about his dementia what almost everyone in his administration commented before they were fired, which is another indication of his insanity/delusion/unfitness to be POTUS, let alone any other job. He couldn't even run a charity, insanely thought it was an ATM. There is a reason Steve Bannon said "He's lost it" and tried to round up people for the 25th Amendment.

                    2. "So, you found the Michigan Man of the year award?"

                      Look at you change the subject again.

                      Anyway, I answered you the last two times you brought it up, retard.

                      The article itself stated that Trump received a presentation from the Michigan Republican party which was clearly what Trump was referring to. Your article was an nursery school level of sophistry that wouldn't trick a toddler.

                      Everything you idiots do is lies. You're too stupid to be here. Huffpo is over there. ===>

                  2. Your obsession is really boring, db.

                    Did I put the comma and space in the right place, douchebag?

                    1. I don't recall posting to you, it was to damikesc. I don't even see you on this thread. Copy my post and send to me.

          2. Probably just one of him peeing in his pants.

    2. After hundreds of years Grocery store owner just realized they could up their prices!

      1. They have to increase their profit margins from 2% to at least 2.5% to pay for their gross revenue taxes California wants to charge them for Healthcare.

        1. That's not prifit margin, raising prices to cover taxes doesn't Chang the profit margin

    3. The obvious answer to this criminal grocery cartel is to nationalize the grocery industrial-complex, so all citizens have access to a single, public grocery chain.

      1. No one needs 23 different kinds of grocery stores!

        1. Let's not even TALK about the grocery misinformation.

        2. common sense grocery control

      2. Ive always wanted to see what waiting in a bread line would be like

        1. I had to do that when I was in the Navy. Hated it.

          One of my enduring memories is during my first WestPac deployment, during the Iran Hostage Crisis. I'd stand in the chow line sweating and bored, and the ship's entertainment system would be playing various crappy pop music. Every fucking day at chow time they'd play "Funky Town". Boy do I hate that fucking noise. When I hear it now I'm instantly transported back to that chow line.

          And the chow wasn't really worth standing in line for. I mean, it was adequate. It would make a turd. But that was it.

          1. That explains your nom de plume.

            1. Actually, I stole that from Warren Zevon.

        2. Ive always wanted to see what waiting in a bread line would be like

          Did you sleep through 2020? I remember driving 25 miles to buy a $5 gallon of milk. I, honest to God, thanked the store owner for pricing his products high enough that the hoarders didn't buy out the stock.

  6. ENB....May I suggest an additional explanation for the labor workforce portion? I would say 'Covid Uncertainty' is a major contributor. I have parents on my staff, and literally every week, I have 1-2 staff who have to suddenly stay home because Junior(ette) tested positive, or someone in their class did. This is wrecking havoc for forecasting and logistics planning.

    We have got to get past the summary public school shutdowns that basically screw us all because of cynical machinations by public sector unions. That is bullshit. I do not see the same thing happen with my staff who have children in private schools.

    To me, get your kid into private (parochial?) school, and get your worklife back in order. They keep kids in classrooms, and they are doing just fine.

    Oh yeah, before I forget: Fuck Joe Biden

    1. As with everything the D's do, they end up fucking over the people they claim to care about.

      Local in town school- mostly D district; mix of AWFLs and minorities; intermittently (usually) closed and virtual only for last 1.5 years. AWFL moms used pods. Minority kids got fucked.

      Local "county" more rural school - mostly R district; much more middle class white; shut down initial COVID wave only, briefly. Kids missed no school essentially, parents missed no work. No difference in morbidity/mortality between the districts.

      So when the D's ask "why are all these white folks doing so much better" the answer is, as usual, because of racist democrats.

      1. Because white people are better?

        -said in the style of bankey from chaseing Amy when at the convention

      2. "they end up fucking over the people they claim to care about."

        The Democrats care about minorities like a pedophile cares about children.

        1. Racist 45 doesn't care about ANYBODY, even his family, he cheated on all 3 wives, even calling the rags to get them to put him and his latest whore on the front page. You made a good try with your QAnon conspiracy, when is JFKjr coming out of his grave to be Rascst 45's VP?

          1. Sqrlsybot strikes again.

            1. Thanks....another post you couldn't refute, I am "starting" to feel sorry for you. Maybe you should try breaking into the DISINFORMATION DOZEN. All your favorite non-vaxxers are there.

              1. There's no need to refute fiction. Trying to refute anything you say is like trying to refute the millennium falcon could go into hyperspace.

                1. Douchebruce should be muted.

              2. Refute what? That Trump cheated on his wife?

                Carter, and maybe Bush II, are probably the only presidents in the last 150 years who didn't. Who cares? Kennedy and Johnson brought actual hookers into the Whitehouse and Clinton banged the interns. Having an old cocksmith is nothing new.

                What's far worse is having an actual pedophile in the Whitehouse as this compilation of CSPAN footage shows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XqF4wA-dco

                1. Trump cheated on his wife with a porn star.
                  Biden cheated on his wife with his 12 year old daughter.
                  The two are not equal

                  1. 1) Huge difference: cheating and cheating AND calling up the rags to get them to put the latest whore and himself on the latest rag. The two are not equal.
                    2) Conspiracy theory about Biden and his daughter: then24 and national file are extreme right Tin-Foil Hat Conspiracy websites based on the promotion of unproven/debunked claims and a Strong Pseudoscience purveyor based on using junk science to support claims. Failed Fact Checks Was Nancy Pelosi’s son an executive for a Ukrainian gas company? – FALSE
                    Says the sons of Nancy Pelosi, Mitt Romney, and John Kerry are all on the boards of “energy companies doing business in Ukraine.” – FALSE
                    Is the United Nations office in New York recruiting paramilitary troops for disarmament and reintegration of U.S. civilians? – FALSE
                    A yearbook photo shows Mark Kelly dressed as Adolf Hitler. – False
                    CDC Inflated COVID Numbers and violated federal Law. – False
                    The Australian government seized and forcibly vaccinated 24,000 students. – False These guys are so crazy they make QAnon look like a dictionary.
                    Get your information from more reliable sources, some are not equal or truthful.

                    1. "Conspiracy theory about Biden and his daughter"

                      She wrote it herself, retard. She called the showers "inappropriate". Those are her words. She acknowledged the diary is hers, her lawyers tried to get it back.

                      At least look up the basics before trying to lie about it, retard.

                  1. You can't refute the CSPAN video, retard. You can only lie about it.

                    Are you going to try and pretend it was deepfaked? Tell us that's not actually Joe pawing those kids? Say he was just being "friendly"?

                    You know what's fucking disgusting. You being okay with what Joe is doing there.
                    You're an evil human being.

                2. https://www.facebook.com/NowThisDaily/videos/the-biggest-lies-of-the-trump-presidency/260583578774175/
                  As you can see, I can do this all day, like Trump can lie all day. You are believing conspiracy theories is almost as bad as lying especially when you post them. You should be ashamed. Lying about a liar and lying about me and not even telling me what I lied about, unless you call giving out a fact check site committing a lie. Just come clean and this all ends.

          2. TDS is strong with this one.

            1. Based on the extreme level of unhingedness, I would posulate that an AI has coalesced like a star formed in the immense gravity from the incalculable mass of TDS on the internet. It was summoned here to Reason by the ménage-a-trois of SQRLSY-Joe Friday-SPB.

              They were trying to summon the Devil, but the old Goat blinded himself after he stumbled into that lemon party.

            2. The dogma lives deeply within him.

        2. That's quite a bit if you ask our resident economist.

    2. I'll second that Fuck Joe Biden.

      On the topic of private schools, those are expensive, and I think it's rather unreasonable to expect parents to pay for public schools they don't use that are out of service in addition to private school tuition.

      Shutting public schools down is an excellent first step, in my opinion, but it's still just a first step.

  7. Facebook owns Parker Brothers (Milton Bradley)?

    1. I'll believe that when I see Zuckerberg sporting a monocle.

      1. I polish my monocle while conducting research on OnlyFans.

    2. Yeah, Zuck is the Monopoly Moneybags man.

      Biden's new comfort animal Commander is one of the Monopoly board pieces, as is a Prius car, a Nike shoe, a Carnival Cruise Liner, a Baseball Cap that faces backwards, a Weimar Republic Wheelbarrow, a Cannon with a barrel drooping from ED, a Thimble from a Red Chinese slave mill, and the Clothing Iron was fitted with a male hand to keep from being sexist and patriarchical.

      And all of the properties are burned down due to "mostly peaceful" protests.

      1. And no "Go To Jail Card" due to no cash bail and the "Get Out Of Jail Free" cards are on the back of each card and are colored green for the "Dreamers." And all the buildings are either McMansions or high-density pods or little homeless encampments. Regular housing developments were banned due to the NIMBY crowd.

        1. On the plus side they now have an ADU building that's smaller than the little green houses, so you can charge extra rent.

      2. “a Weimar Republic Wheelbarrow”

        Ok, that was good.

    3. If that were true the game would start with Zuk holding all the deeds and you going to jail.

      1. And at some point in the game you’d get kicked completely off the board, and Reason would shrug and tell you to build your own monopoly game.

  8. Voters are trying to stop him from running again, or democrats?

    1. I wish Madison Cawthorn would stop himself due to embarassment. His foot is perpetually in his mouth. Never trust anyone with a last name as a given name.

      Talk about "Caw! Caw!"

    2. The Voters are the Party. After all, who counts the votes?

      1. Stalin?

      2. And God gave the democrats Dominion over all.

  9. the bipartisan antitrust crusade against Facebook

    Isn't it Islamophobic to use the c-word?

    1. Those most obvious alternative is too, so...

  10. If only they sot a picachu, then the would keep their job

  11. “These compounds can be taken orally and have a long history of safe use in humans,” said Richard van Breemen, a researcher with Oregon State’s Global Hemp Innovation Center. “They have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2,” he said in a statement.

    "However, being readily available and relatively inexpensive, they will probably not be authorized by TPTB."

    1. Clearly misinformation, as no politician will profit from this like they do from the big pharma cartels with their guaranteed contracts and legal immunity.

    2. You know what else can be taken orally and has a long history of safe use in humans?

      1. Should we ask Kamala? She seems to be an expert.

      2. Betty White got the booster 3 days before she died of a mild stroke.

        1. So you're saying Fauci killed Betty White too?

  12. "The FTC's amended complaint contained "significant additions and revisions aimed at addressing the shortcomings identified in the Court's prior Opinion," writes Boasberg in his new memorandum opinion. "The core theory of the lawsuit remains essentially unchanged" but "the facts alleged this time around to fortify those theories, however, are far more robust and detailed than before, particularly in regard to the contours of Defendant's alleged monopoly."

    Lina Khan has completely rewritten the rules at the FTC to make this possible, and she's pushed people out of the agency for getting in the way of her agenda.

    "The agency eliminated the long-standing role of the agency’s chief administrative law judge in presiding over fact-finding and rule-making. Now Ms. Khan, or someone of her choosing, will preside. The Democrats also killed the requirement that the FTC staff get a majority vote of the commission to start an investigation. Now only a single commissioner can sign off. Subpoenas can also fly at Ms. Khan’s discretion.

    The commissioners rescinded the bipartisan Obama-era FTC statement, adopted in 2015, that the agency follow antitrust law as it has evolved in the courts. This is a sure signal that the three Democrats are planning to dump the consumer-welfare standard for antitrust that has prevailed for decades. Instead the agency will replace it with some new standard it hasn’t specified.

    ----July 5, 2021

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/lina-khans-power-grab-at-the-ftc-11625517819?

    Anyone who thinks the vast new powers to regulate and centrally plan American industry will only be used against Facebook is nuts. Much of what she does at the FTC will be overturned in the courts and undone as soon as the she's gone, but she can do a lot of damage to the economy in the meantime. Lina Khan cites Facebook's tolerance of "misinformation" as the consequence of anti-competitive behavior. Expect to see the FTC's new arbitrary general welfare standards applied to issues like global warming in the near future.

    1. When Facebook agrees to regulate conservative speech as part of the FTC's consent decree, I'd love to think that the only people who suffer because of it are the conservatives who support going after Facebook with the tools of central planning. Unfortunately, everyone else's free speech rights will be trampled by this, too.

      Oh, and when I said that much of this will be undone when Lina Khan is gone, that doesn't mean the part of the consent decrees where Facebook agrees to regulate conservative speech will be gone. Facebook would have agreed to a consent decree already if Lina Khan weren't intent on forcing Facebook to spin off Instagram and WhatsApp.

      1. Note, that the conservatives have done nothing to make this consent agreement possible. They aren't in power. They didn't put this woman in charge, and this will Haugen without their support.

        1. "Note, that the conservatives have done nothing to make this consent agreement possible."

          The antitrust investigation was opened by Trump, and that was a big mistake. The ultimate goal of every antitrust action is a consent decree, and Lina Khan was confirmed with the support of conservative Senators.

          "Twenty-one GOP Senators voted to confirm her, including some upset with Big Tech for censoring conservative speech."

          https://www.wsj.com/articles/lina-khans-power-grab-at-the-ftc-11625517819?

          The vote to confirm Khan was 65-28 in the Senate--the Republicans who voted to confirm her let their hatred of Facebook blind them to the likely consequences of her confirmation. Fear is the mind-killer, and hate makes us blind.

          Meanwhile, there are conservatives out there in the general public who have been blinded by their hatred of Facebook, too. By supporting the means to injure Facebook, they're cutting off their noses to spite their faces. They all need to stop on a dime, turn around, and start defending Facebook--when appropriate--in the interests of defending their own free speech rights.

          1. It is also noteworthy that pretty much no one in government was say, "Government's job here is to do nothing and stay out of this." Instead it was a choice between being required by law to censor conservative speech they honestly find distasteful inside the company, or being required by law to allow conservative speech they find distasteful.

            With no advocate for "figure it out yourself" in government, Facebook will naturally move towards working with the liberal establishment. They will be able to continue doing the censorship they wanted, except now they will claim that it is at the behest of the government. Meanwhile competitors moderating more freely or a conservative bent will find themselves targeted by the government for not performing the same "common sense due diligence" that Facebook does.

            1. Facebook's main motivation is to please advertisers. Their biggest threat, before antitrust, was advertising boycotts--because of their tolerance for "hate speech". Facebook is an advertising platform, and advertisers don't want their ad for Coca-Cola playing next to your anti-immigration screed when your niece sees it on her feed. They're about creating positive associations with their products in the minds of consumers, and advertisers care more about younger consumers because their product preferences haven't calcified yet.

              1. "Now, more than 400 companies, from Coca-Cola and Adidas to Ford and Lego, have vowed to halt advertising on the social network, in a growing protest over how it handles hate speech and other harmful content."

                https://www.npr.org/2020/07/01/885853634/big-brands-abandon-facebook-threatening-to-derail-a-70b-advertising-juggernaut

              2. Have you ever seen an ad on facebook or twitter? I confess I don't use facebook much and only read twitter when linked. Don't you have to link to any company to see their ads? I have no idea how companies have a hold on SM unless they are funding it with the intention of getting SM to cancel any of their detractors, like the government is trying to do. You tube is the only place I see ads and they are getting so intrusive I may stop viewing them.

                1. IMDB use to have a comment section, When Femo Ghostbusters came around the comments were very negative and raucous. Soon after the comments section was gone. IMDB is owned by Amazon and I think they were pressured by the studios to silence everyone. The only place to get people's opinions is in the reviews and even with movies not fit for a dog will get +10 reviews possibly from studio scoks.

            2. Government's job is actually to enforce contracts between customer and provider at a normal level of action. They are not doing that. SV judges have wrapped contractual actions that would normally be not allowed in contracts under 230 providing these companies protections they were not actually granted by law.

      2. I'd love to think that the only people who suffer because of it are the conservatives who support going after Facebook with the tools of central planning

        Wouldn't that just reinforce their notion that central planning is the way to get things done?

        1. I'd like to think the gun going off when they look down the barrel would teach them to stop pointing guns at themselves and keep their fingers off the trigger.

    2. P.S. In the progressive mind, support for a wall is xenophobic, opposition to gay marriage is homophobic, opposition to abortion is misogynistic, and opposition to affirmative action is racist. Don't imagine that when they're talking about Facebook agreeing to censor hate speech, they're just talking about banning racial slurs. If xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, and racism is hate speech, then they're talking about shutting down conservative discussion of immigration, gay marriage, abortion, and affirmative action--among a plethora of other issues.

  13. Democratic operatives say Hillary Clinton is 'best option' for party to win 2024 election

    Clinton "is already in an advantageous position to become the 2024 Democratic nominee. She is an experienced national figure who is younger than Mr. Biden and can offer a different approach from the disorganized and unpopular one the party is currently taking," they wrote.

    "Plus, her cackle is more memorable than that of Ms. Harris."

    1. I'd love to see a video of them cackling side-by-side, maybe comparing them both with The Wicked Witch of the West. 'Course, it might scare some stoners watching in the basement and listening to Pink Floyd.

      1. Dueling Hyenas?

        1. With Arthur Smith's "Duelling Banjos" for musical accompaniment.

      2. Just don't play Pink Floyd's 'Have a Cigar' near Crooked Hillary if her horndog husband is around.

    2. Another rich, white, Boomer democrat is definitely what the party of Equity and Gen Z socialists needs to win.

    3. She is not much younger than Biden. May even be less popular to the general electorate than him (she managed to lose to Trump, afterall), and her organizational skills are proven to be subpar (see decision to not campaign in Wisconsin in 2016). These are Clinton minions giving her a tonguebath.

      1. And she clearly suffers from a serious neurological condition that she has never acknowledged. She might not be physically capable of running for or serving as president.

  14. Biden just claimed the filibuster is weaponized and abused.

    Democrats used the filibuster 327 times in 2020, so he's not wrong. I think that this also indicates that they don't plan on losing elections anymore. 2022 will be fortified.

    1. The filibuster is anti-democratic, majority+ should be the rule.

      1. How is it anti-democratic? And are you going to be happy about it being gone in 2023 when the House has a big Republican majority.
        You guys used it a record 327 times in 2020 so it obviously had value to you then.

        1. Full Definition of democracy
          1a: government by the people
          especially : rule of the majority.
          1) Voting registration data indicates a stronger-than-usual flight from the G.O.P. since the Capitol riot.
          2) They are stuck with Pathological Prevaricator who has proven he can't win the popular vote.
          3) Any day the courts will bring him in on dozens of charges and liars with bad memories (alzheimer's like his dad) don't do good in courts.

          1. Any. Day. Now.

            #blueanon

            1. 4) Polls of Repub. state 50% are willing to go to the new "Trump" party, which will give the Dems about a 25 million vote margin.

              1. Lol, I hate to be a White Mike, but I'm going to need to see some sort of citation.

                1. https://news.gallup.com/poll/329639/support-third-political-party-high-point.aspx
                  Trump has talked in recent days with associates about forming a new political party, according to people familiar with the matter, an effort to exert continued influence after he leaves the White House.
                  Mr. Trump discussed the matter with several aides and other people close to him. The president said he would want to call the new party the “Patriot Party.

                  1. Trump was talking about the Patriot party last spring and then dropped it ages ago when it was obvious that he would win the Republican nomination.
                    Do try to keep up, retard.

                    1. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-election-2020/trump-lies-false-presidency-b1790285.html
                      Thanks again for verifying my post but that is pretty common but your lies are still sitting out there
                      1) Trump lied many times about his made-up award, you called it the truth.
                      2) You lied about his lie.
                      3) You called me a liar for posting a factcheck site.

  15. Re: Labor Shortage, I think there is something more going on.

    I met with a friend's kid in Colorado over the past month who was out of college since 2021, and who couldn't for the life of him get a job. He was showing me the tons of positions he had applied for- I'm talking nearly 100 applications. Of those he got 8 screening interviews and no call backs. I'd just chalk that up as "he's a terrible candidate" but 1) I'm a hiring manager, and talking with him I did not get that sense- indeed he seemed better than average. 2) He showed me positions online that MONTHS LATER still haven't been filled.

    Add onto that, my daughters' friends all spent last year applying for jobs with no success. They are all high school kids and they were applying to Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, AMC, etc- typical high school jobs. None of them got any sort of call back, despite the fact that when I visit these establishments, they ALL have dozens of signs pleading for applicants. Then, right after winter break, (Jan 1, 2022) ALL of these kids suddenly got callbacks.

    Something else is broken here, and I don't know what. It is possible that companies just forgot how to hire during 2020. It could be that companies- despite claiming to want to hire- were slow-playing applications because they are worried about laying off staff in another COVID surge. Or maybe there is some sort of incentive having to do with the PPP loan repayments or other government handout that leads businesses to open job vacancies but not hire?

    Either way, something very strange is going on when I see both vacancies AND tons of people applying for jobs with no callback.

    1. Any chance all of those kids had a 'less than progressive' social media presence?

      1. This occurred to me too.

        1. Did you find that Michigan Man of the Year award that Trump was lying about? It should be easy since they must have had one every year for decades. Was he lying? Simple yes or no?

          1. For fucks sake, yes I did, Sqrlsy you retard troll.

            Read the fucking thread where you asked it, or even this one where you repeated it.

            1. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/13/trump-tweets-legacy-of-lies-misinformation-distrust.html

              1) Trump lied many times about his made-up award, you called it the truth.
              2) You lied about his lie.
              3) You called me a liar for posting a factcheck site.

      2. I live in California. The ones that give the slightest fuck about anything more serious than Harry Styles' dressing habits are just taking pictures of their recycling club and +1s to BLM protestors.

        The kid I talked to in CO is completely apolitical. There is still something far different going on here.

        1. Silence is violence.

        2. If they have a recycling club that does anything other than metal, then they hate the enviroment

    2. To me the logical explanation is: it was 'budget season' in Q4 and hiring was lessened to make the numbers. I know it was that way for a number of companies. The thinking was, get 2021 'in the bag' (so we can pay the people who were here 2020,21) and then worry about capacity issues.

    3. Next time have them 'Para español oprima el número uno'

    4. Same thing with my niece last summer who’s in college. She had planned on staying on campus with her boyfriend, but couldn’t get hired anywhere. Had to come home for the summer and work for her dad.

  16. FBI Refuses to Explain FBI Role in January 6

    In September, the New York Times confirmed that FBI informants infiltrated the Proud Boys, an alleged militia group, and participated in the first breach of the Capitol perimeter right before 1 p.m. The man seen with the Proud Boys before the first intrusion was Ray Epps.

    Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) asked Matthew Olsen, head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, whether any plain-clothes officers were at the Capitol on January 6. Olsen, who announced today the formation of a domestic terror unit within DOJ, said he was not “aware” of any plainclothes officers within the crowd or inside the building on January 6. Cotton slammed Olsen for repeatedly refusing to give the committee specific answers. “Did you prepare for this hearing, did you know this hearing was happening before this morning, Cotton asked Olsen.

    Cotton also pressed Olsen about Epps; Olsen deferred the question to Sanborn. “Do you really expect us to believe you’ve never heard the name Ray Epps, you don’t know anything about him?” Cotton asked. Olsen said he had “no information at all” about Epps.

    1. From everything that has come out it looks like there were actually way more feds than citizens in the gretchen witmer kidnapping "plot".

      But im sure J6 was squeaky clean.

      1. Fedsurrection

    2. Remember that time the director of the National School Boards Association emails came out saying that someone in the Biden administration had told him what to write in the letter that asked President Biden to sic the FBI's counter terrorism task force on parents for opposing their local school boards? When that story broke, back in October, we were wondering who it was in the Biden administration that told the acting director of the NSBA what to write in that letter. Well the identity of that person appears to have been revealed through another Freedom of Information Act request, and the identity of the person in the Biden administration who told the NSBA what to write in that awful letter was none other than Miguel Cardona--the Biden administration's Secretary of Education.

      "A newly released email indicates Education Secretary Miguel Cardona solicited last September’s letter from the National School Boards Association which compared parents protesting at school board meetings to domestic terrorists.

      In an Oct. 6 message to NSBA board member Marnie Maraldo, Secretary-Treasurer Kristi Swett said then-interim CEO Chip Slaven had told his fellow officers “he was writing a letter to provide information to the White House, from a request by Secretary Cardona.”

      "The email was obtained through a public records request by the group Parents Defending Education and shared with The Post. It is the first piece of evidence to suggest Cardona’s specific involvement in the NSBA letter.

      ----New York Post, January 11, 2022

      https://nypost.com/2022/01/11/miguel-cardona-asked-for-school-board-domestic-terror-letter/

      I have a short list of things I'd like to see a Republican controlled House and/or Senate investigate Biden for--and Hunter Biden's emails aren't even in the top three. Joe Biden siccing the FBI on parents for opposing their local school boards is the worst thing he's actually done so far, and an independent counsel needs to have a long discussion with the Secretary of Education about whether he was acting alone or under orders.

      I'm not even saying anything illegal happened. I'm saying what they did in broad daylight was awful, and it merits an investigation to see if anything illegal happened. The Biden administration sicced the FBI's anti-terrorism task force on parents for opposing their elected, local school boards is by far the most anti-democratic purposefully speech chilling action we've seen in a long time.

      P.S. Using the FBI to silence parents who oppose their local school boards is certainly far worse than anything that was done to Snowden.

      1. Impeach them.

      2. "The Biden administration sicced the FBI's anti-terrorism task force on parents for opposing their elected, local school boards is by far the most anti-democratic purposefully speech chilling action we've seen in a long time."

        There are two egregious problems here. First is that, as you said, the Biden administration should not have sicced the FBI on parents. And they should not have done that no matter WHO asked for them to investigate.

        The second issue is that the Biden administration felt the need to justify siccing the FBI on parents. The fact that this was all orchestrated with a call from within the house, should be viewed as completely suspect to the nation. It isn't illegal, but it is the sort of "Wag the Dog" propaganda that should make everyone in the country ask what the fuck is going on.

        1. It needs to be investigated.

      3. The Hunter Biden emails should have a high priority. Joe Biden was selling access to the Whitehouse for favors and money. It will not be investigated however because all the rest of D.C. is selling favors too. When the Rs get in their top priority will be keeping Trump and Trump supporters off the ballots. They will not undo any laws, fire any bureaucrats or scratch back one penny of all the money doled out.

    3. Details of the coordinated actions taken by Ray Epps and a half dozen of his coconspirators (who were likely all FBI Agents and/or informants) to initially breach the Capitol, remove Police barriers, and repeatedly direct (with identical megaphones) Trump supporters to walk to then into the Capitol is available at
      https://www.revolver.news/2021/12/damning-new-details-massive-web-unindicted-operators-january-6/

      Why won't Reason mention these facts?

      1. And why hasn't the FBI indicted any of these coconspirators yet?

        The most likely answer is that the entire fiasco on Jan 6 at the Capitol was staged political theatre by the FBI (in an effort to frame and blame Trump, which is precisely what Pelosi did).

        1. Why did they drop the Stephen Paddock investigation so quickly? What's really scary is the FBI overtly operating as agent provocateurs. The FBI doesn't even deny it.

      2. "Why won't Reason mention these facts?"

        Because vital libertarian issues aren't as terribly important as being disinvited from Georgetown cocktail parties for bad-think?

        At this point I'd be flabbergasted if they did.

    4. Did you come up with another of your lies to cover up yours and Trumps? It's sad you would try to cover up for the biggest liar in history. World's Biggest Liar is an annual competition for telling lies, held in Cumbria, England. Competitors from around the world have five minutes to tell the biggest and most convincing lie they can. Competition rules bar the use of props or scripts. Politicians and lawyers are not allowed to enter the competition, because "they are judged to be too skilled at telling porkies". Trump would win easily but you are giving him some competition. Why would you call me a liar when all I did was post a fact checking site? How is that a lie and both you and Trump actually told lies.

    5. https://www.thearticle.com/trumps-ten-top-lies

      1) Trump lied many times about his made-up award, you called it the truth.
      2) You lied about his lie.
      3) You called me a liar for posting a factcheck site.

    1. Seems like the plan is that if you can get the news media to say "insurrection" often enough it becomes true and you can use the 14th amendment to disqualify everyone you don't like from office.
      Clearly that's why they are so attached to the term "insurrection".

      1. Is this the mechanism they'll use to postpone the midterms? Too many 'insurrectionists' running?

        1. Heh, I hadn't thought of that. If the court cases aren't adjudicated by November will the Democrats argue that the elections have to wait?

          1. Every single one of them.

      2. So what happens when a certain giggling idiot stays on the democrat ticket in 2024?
        Does her advocacy for rioters count?

        1. As insurrection? No. Just as none of the Jan 6 morons were involved in insurrection.

          1. Does supporting the CHAZ thing not count?

    2. Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be INCAPABLE of holding any office under the United States.

    3. https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/list/?speaker=donald-trump&ruling=pants-fire
      You and Trump didn't lie but I did? Actually, you and Trump lied and I didn't.

    4. Here the 3 things you must do to repent
      1) Trump lied many times about his made-up award, you called it the truth. You must admit he lied.
      2) You lied about his lie. You must admit you lied about his lie.
      3) You called me a liar for posting a factcheck site. You must admit that you lied about me lying.
      https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-trumps-washington/the-most-mendacious-president-in-us-history

  17. "A group of 11 North Carolina voters filed a legal challenge to disqualify Rep. Madison Cawthorn from running for a second term"

    But asking for voter ID is an unprecedented assult on democracy.

    1. I personally feel you shouldnt be able to vote without passing a basic civics test and being a net positive tax payer.

      An ID is nothing. If someone thinks going to the DMV and getting a picture ID with a quick 5 second voter registration is too much for a black person to do, then that person is racist for thinking blacks are not able to function without the help of the white man

      1. Democrats accept as fact blacks cannot function without help from white men. What they find racists is when people object to them providing the 'help.'

      2. And to think, in some states, you have to show ID and proof of vaccine to get into the state building where they give out the free ID cards.

      3. I've never seen any data on all these people who supposedly can't get an ID. Is there any available? And I mean data, not some anecdotal shit like "I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy whose aunt's third cousin knows a guy whose brother-in-law says he can't get an ID".

        This is not just naysaying. If we really want to solve this problem we have to know how many people are affected, who they are, where they're at, and what circumstances are preventing them from getting an ID. Living any sort of normal life is impossible without an ID. So where are the "we've got a plan" progressives?

        1. I watched some PBS video about the problem. It's real, it exists. During the Jim Crow era, a lot of poor didn't get registered with the government because the government was so hostile to them. Things as simple as birth certificates weren't issued because people were being born in houses or clinics. I lost my Birth Certificate, and replacing it back in 1998ish was not trivial. I shudder to think how difficult it is for an individual to show up at a courthouse trying to get a birth certificate from 1960. Not just for the individual- but even as a government official. How do you confirm that person in front of you was really born in your county, not a chinese spy?

          But the fact that it is a problem does not mean it is insurmountable. Given the TRILLIONS of dollars at the federal and state government's control, including billions of dollars spent on bullshit like GOTV advertisements, it should be possible for the US to solve these problems. Conservatives shouldn't be afraid to admit this is a problem, while just committing to solve it.

          1. Exactly. I'm sure it's a problem. But when the "government can do anything" crowd displays no interest in solving it, that makes me wonder.

          2. If the leftists who oppose voter ID laws and financially support those efforts would instead put their money toward solving the root problem, that would prove that I'm just babbling since that will never happen.

          3. Back in the 80s I had to renew my passport. The guy at the P.O. refused to do so because my birth certificate said I was born in Chicago Illinois but it didn't say USA anywhere. That was in Columbus Ohio.

          4. "How do you confirm that person in front of you was really born in your county, not a chinese spy?"

            In the state I live in, you can go to the Bureau of Vital Statistics in the capital city, fill out a form giving your name, your parents' names, and when and where you were born, and they will hand you a copy of your birth certificate. Anyone who has that information can get anyone's birth certificate.

      4. And the voting age should be like 40. Or maybe no one gets to vote for an office that they aren't old enough to hold.

        1. I'd settle for 25.

      5. Agreed with the net tax payer. The civics test would be to open to shenanigans.

  18. https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1481207065255477250?t=JqObuMt05Eeqg8Kp_udoQA&s=19

    NEW - 80 fact-checking organizations worldwide accuse YouTube of aiding "disinformation" in an open letter. They demand a "structured collaboration" to superimpose their counter-content on videos to "provide context."
    [Link]

    1. 'Fact-checking' is just the latest form of political demagoguery.

      Also, I wonder if Google itself is behind the letter?

      1. The war on "disinformation" is the big con, as though there is some arbiter of Truth out there, and said arbiter is unbiased, apolitical, and conveniently works for big tech and the corporate media.

    2. You're literally a Danger To Our Democracy by not paying us enough

      This is quite blatant.

    3. The fact Chekas are on the case.

  19. https://twitter.com/FT/status/1480939293380071427?t=bZ5ukVSMo26jktetql-Bjg&s=19

    Psy-Ops are a crucial weapon in the war against disinformation [link]

    1. @BMeatslab
      The turnaround time from "It's not true, it's a conspiracy theory, don't listen to that",
      to,
      "it's actually a good thing",
      is getting shorter and shorter.

      'Conspiracy theory' in 2022 is another word for spoiler.

      1. DISINFORMATION DOZEN It's right up your alley, lie after lie.

        1. What's disinformation, Sqrlsybot?
          Do you even know what we're talking about, you retard troll? I bet you fucking don't.

            1. As I thought. That's got nothing to do with what we're talking about, retard.
              Try again.

  20. "The transition to endemicity was always going to be in part a psychological one," suggests The Atlantic's Sarah Zhang, "in which people slowly let go of the idea that COVID must or can be avoided forever. Omicron has simply made that clear very quickly."

    After two years of The Atlantic's hysterical fear mongering, misinformation, attacks on truth -tellers, and promoting fascism all i can say is ... welcome to the party pal.

    1. This is position I thought we had to come to grips with when this started. Covid zero was always a foolishly unattainable goal and getting the public to accept that was always in the best interest of sensible public policy.

      1. “sensible public policy”

        Lol. That’s not how this works.

    2. The transition to endemicity was always going to be in part a psychological one

      And we were always at war with Eurasia.

  21. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/11/cdc-may-start-recommending-n95-masks/

    And another point for the "conservatives and rational individuals fucking have been telling you this the whole time" column. Another L for the CDC and its credibility.

    Turns out those cloth masks that 99% of people wear in public, poorly, actually werent doing anything. Again, like anyone with an IQ over 80 (read: not progs) could tell you.

    But dont think that these liberals will actually switch to the N95's. Why not? Because they, when properly fitted, are uncomfortable. Simple as that. You can notice the material move in and out as the person sucks air through it as the fit needs to be tight enough that it really is blocking air from coming in through the sides with the majority being filtered through the mask. But due to this its also more uncomfortable to breathe through, and more uncomfortable on your face as it places a good amount of pressure.

    And what do the progs do with masks? They wear them as a religious totem. They wear them by the hostess stand and then sit down for a 2 hour meal surrounded by others maskless. Its cult theater. And they aint going to put on an N95 for cult theater. Because it would inconvenience them. These people have no principles, the second they are uncomfortable or inconvenienced the masks immediately come off, every time.

    1. In the very least they won't wear N95s unless they can get them emblazoned with cutesy woke slogans.

    2. Actually, KMW explained this in a roundtable. Mask mandates ENCOURAGE lowest common denominator masking.

      In the early days when N95 (and the actually useful KN95) were nearly impossible to get, simple pleated masks were all that one could get. But fast forward two years, and fashion seems to dominate. But these printed fashionable masks are even worse than the pleated masks.

      I wear a pleated mask just because that's what I have. I wear them so other people don't nag on me. It's also a bit of politeness. But the mask rules incentive the lowest common denominator masks. I am fully vaccinated, but if I were not then I would seriously consider N95.

      p.s. Also, masks do not protect the wearer, they protect people around the wearer. Something that both mask haters and mask fetishers forget.

      1. p.s. no it doesn't.

        How many times do you have to be corrected?

        1. It's the Narrative (tm). "Hands up, don't shoot," and all that.

      2. masks do not protect the wearer, they protect people around the wearer

        First, if it's not a fitted respirator, it isn't doing anything, you are breathing around the filter. Fauci lied, that is the science. The only thing a mask can do is keep you from projecting particulate, and only to the extent you keep it on when you cough or sneeze. Does everyone remember the video of Biden pulling his mask down to sneeze or Fauci taking his mask off immediately after he thought he was off-camera? That is because they know it does not make a difference.

        Forced masking is nothing but theater and results in special-ed kids with masks taped to their heads. It is fucking evil. If you advocate for it, you are an ignorant asshole.

        Second, if filtering protected anybody, why hasn't OSHA mandated all airplanes be filtered and for buildings open to the public be outfitted with filters for every air intake and output?

        A HEPA filter is actually good enough to filter out a virus, and most hospitals have negative air pressure HEPA filtration, which is why the workers there had more than the ordinary amount of protection. However, HEPA respirators both require fitting and must have an outflow valve. They will protect the wearer, but not everybody else.

        Many airplanes also have HEPA filtration systems which is why masks on planes are nothing but a bad joke. The CEO of one of the major airlines nearly got canceled for pointing that out.

        Don't participate in the farce of masking. You are providing cover for authoritarian liars. The key to handling COVID from day 1 should have been IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS, ISOLATE IMMEDIATELY. That is the only thing that actually works according to the science, and the power to quarantine the symptomatic is the only authority that SCOTUS should have recognized.

        It should be obvious at this point that lockdowns, masking, and bi-monthly vaccinations have done nothing to prevent spread. The vaccine may prevent serious illness, but the rate of infections has not changed over the year it has been available except for seasonally. The OSHA mandate is also evil. If you advocate for it, you are an ignorant asshole.

        The 'public health experts' have talked out their ass for 2 years. If you advocate for continuing to listen to them, you are an ignorant asshole.

        1. Brandy is an ignorant asshole.

      3. Also, masks do not protect the wearer, they protect people around the wearer. Something that both mask haters and mask fetishers forget.

        If we're talking about the masks I see 98% of people wearing, the other 2% being hastily fastened bandanas around the face, then according to the CDC, they do neither. Follow the scientism.

    1. Meanwhile, Republicans have pounced upon the FBI's statement because they are racist insurrectionists who love to pounce.

      -Reason approved this message-

    2. The video at Babylon Bee is hilarious.
      https://babylonbee.com/news/fbi-promises-to-make-2022-hoaxes-less-obvious

      I'm shocked the video hasn't already been banned by YouTube.

      1. No lie, it's age restricted.

  22. Congress doesn't understand about network effects. People don't use Facebook because there's no other choice, people use Facebook because that's where everyone else is. That doesn't mean it's a monopoly. Even if it does make Josh Hawley cry, fuck Josh Hawley.

    1. Facebook uses it's regulatory and financial power to bankrupt or buy out competitors, they've done this with everyone, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Beluga, Parse, LiveRail, Threadsy, Giphy, ad nauseum.

      Facebook is almost completely integrated with the federal government too. They're an In-Q-Tel company: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/social-media-is-a-tool-of-the-cia-seriously/

      It's not just a monopoly, but a corporatist monopoly that gained it's monopoly position due to the government rather than just great service.

      1. Did you find that Michigan Man of the Year award that Trump was lying about? It should be easy since they must have had one every year for decades. Was he lying? Simple yes or no?

        1. No. Now scroll up or go to the comment section where you originally asked it, you retarded troll.

          It's dumber than fuck to be refuted and still somehow think that you weren't because you're too lazy to check.

          1. https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-08-05/donald-trump-lies-character-psychology
            Here the 3 things you must do to repent
            1) say Trumped lied
            2) say you lied about Trump
            3) say I did not lie

  23. "This group of dedicated attorneys will focus on the domestic terrorism threat . . . "

    This group of dedicated attorneys will focus on the 'conservatives speaking truth ' threat,

  24. The past few years have made it abundantly clear that the feds want to appear to have it out for Facebook in order to use the threat of regulation to make sure Facebook continues to cooperate with their efforts to crack on dissent, which they label "domestic terrorism"

    FTFY. They don't have it out for Facebook, they love Facebook. They've managed to create a mass surveillance tool that would make Stalin blush, and best of all, people willingly sign up to be surveilled.

    1. Yep. They just want Facebook to know who's calling the shots, and what happens if they don't listen.

  25. You can easily see the rational for the CIA being non-responsive to questions regarding whether X is a CIA agent or whether they were involved in Y activity; these people are keeping secrets from the US enemies.
    By what rational does the FBI claim that luxury? Who is the enemy from whom the FBI is concealing information? The UUS population? A former POTUS?
    Who and why?

    1. U.S. enemies = the prols, especially when they get uppity and think our overlords should be bound by the laws and the Constitution

  26. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may update guidance to say that not just any old masks will do."

    As long as we can still customize them to make fashion statements... (see we're saving lives and having fun with it! #newnormal).

  27. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) is expanding her antitrust obsession to grocery stores, accusing lack of competition in the industry of being behind inflation, which is at its highest point in 40 years.

    Right... has nothing to with the government creating over 30% of the money supply in a single year.

    Either Elizabeth Warren is a dipshit or she thinks everyone else is. Or both... probably both.

    1. Definitely both.

      Why are grocery stores suddenly raising their prices and forcing inflation, given that the allegedly anti-competitive structure has existed for decades? Crazy, right? I guess they've just been waiting 30+ years to finally strike.

      1. Yep, they're EVUL mustache twirling super villains. They've just been biding their time for years just waiting for the perfect to time to jack up their prices and pounce. /sarc

        1. Proposed truth in advertising name changes:

          Walmart = The Menagerie (where else do you keep an 800 lb gorilla? also works for the Shoppers of Walmart crowd)
          Kroger's = KROGS - Korporate Raiders Of Grocery Stores
          Costco = Costmo
          H.E.B = Have Everybody's Business

          People have been calling it Whole Paycheck Foods for years.

    2. Holy fucking shit, a lack of competition in retail groceries? When's the last time she did her own grocery shopping?

      1. Probably around the time she was making loans to family members at usurious rates.

  28. "The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.5 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.8 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 7.0 percent before seasonal adjustment."

    https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm

    7% annual is the highest inflation rate since 1982.

    Chuck Schumer still plans to hold a vote on Build Back Better some time after the "voting rights" bill on January 17.

    1. OBL tells us that the DoL numbers are from wingnut.com 🙂

      1. Now would be a good time to ask your boss for a 10% raise anyway.

    2. Is there any real chance the "voting rights" bill sees a vote before Monday?

      1. It's supposed to be up for a vote on the 17th.

        I'm convinced that Schumer is trying to head off a primary challenge by AOC for his Senate seat in New York. He has to be more radical than the rest of the Democrats so as not to give her any room to challenge him from the left. He wants to bring this up for a vote for the same reason that Bill Clinton executed a man that was mentally deficient. It's gonna hurt the rest of the Democratic party, but he doesn't care about that--at least not as much as he cares about heading off AOC.

  29. A group of 11 North Carolina voters filed a legal challenge to disqualify Rep. Madison Cawthorn from running for a second term, arguing his involvement in a rally preceding the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on Capitol Hill constitutionally bars him from waging another campaign

    Oh man, who could have seen that coming?

  30. Gee whiz, congratulations to Reason on “informing” us about the Labor Force Participation Rate problem, which most of your more intelligent (meaning non left wing) readers have already been fully aware of for months, if not years.

    Yes, it’s very bad that America has a smaller real workforce today than we did in the year 2000 while having a significantly bigger population, now that productivity has pretty much been stretched out to its limit. So unless and until people start getting back to work doing truly productive stuff (making YouTube videos doesn’t really help the supply chains very much), the problem is likely to continue getting worse and worse, especially if assholes like Sleepy Joe Biden continue doling our the free cash to everyone.

    1. Is it just me or does Reason seem to finally be waking up to all of the obvious dangerous, bullshit, and flagrantly authoritarian policies brought on in the past two years? I guess they got the "okay" from Koch to pretend to be libertarian again?

      Who knows, maybe by 2025 they'll notice that there were some irregularities in the 2020 election

      1. On Tuesday, Biden positioned the two bills as a response to Republican efforts (in Georgia and elsewhere) to tighten election laws, and a necessary rejoinder to former President Donald Trump's craven efforts (in Georgia and elsewhere) to influence the results of the 2020 election. - Eric Boehm
        That was just yesterday so no, they are not waking up to anything.

      2. Yeah, I'm actually in shock at the change in tone lately.

  31. >>Hemp compounds ... prevent COVID-19

    was betting my og kush worked even better than hydroxychloraquine

  32. "To Sanborn, he suggested that undercover FBI agents or informants may have spurred on the rioters — an assertion for which there is no known evidence..."

    Here we go again - "there's no proof". Look, it's either true or not. Proof is what you need to convict in a court of law, not to suggest something that might have happened. Why do we get the constant disclaimers that there's "no proof"? The only purpose of that phrase being used here is to cast aspersions on the mere thought that the FBI would do such a thing. How bout we just keep investigating the thing and let the facts speak for themselves?

    "Prove" to me that masks work. "Prove" to me that the jab doesn't destroy your immune system down the road. "Prove" to me that the Wuhan Flu wasn't cooked up in a lab.

    1. They needed to use a quote from the Washington Post? Not picking a partisan view here is Reason?

    2. "There's no proof" gives up the game. Or did they mean to say, "no evidence." Big difference.

      1. OK, so they said "no known evidence". Evidence is proof so lack of evidence is no proof. "No known evidence" is a very tortured way to cover your ass when you know something is probably true. So let's call it "there's no proof" lite.

  33. "Ms. Sanborn, a lot of Americans are concerned that the federal government deliberately encouraged illegal violent conduct on January 6th," Cruz said, asking her whether that was true.

    "Not to my knowledge, sir," she replied.

    Hopefully that response will one day rank right up there with James Clapper's "not wittingly" as all time whoppers. Of course, like Clapper, she'll never be held accountable for lying, but still...

    1. By what authority can she simply decide whether or not to answer a question regarding her official duties?
      She can plead the 5th, but it seems other than that, she MUST answer those questions

    2. Unless she has direct knowledge to the contrary, it is not a lie, and she left herself an out if proof ever emerges that FBI agents were involved.

      1. Given her job title, it would be a violation of her oath not to know.
        If she refuses to say "no" under oath, the answer is "yes".

        1. Exactly. The Senator should point that out and ask her to answer yes or no.

  34. Cruz "lambasted Olsen and Jill Sanborn, the head of the FBI's national security branch, for not answering certain questions about Jan. 6-related criminal charges or about whether any FBI informants encouraged or participated in the violence,"

    Note that Reason editors have refused to even mention Ray Epps' name or write any articles about what actually happened on Jan 5 and 6 at the Capitol.

    For the best analysis of evidence (that I'm aware of) showing Ray Epps and a half dozen coconspirators repeatedly urging Trump supporters to go to and inside the Capitol, removing the barriers that had prevented the public from entering the Capitol, first entering the Capitol grounds, and beginning to assault the Capitol (before Trump gave his speech on Jan 6)
    https://www.revolver.news/2021/12/damning-new-details-massive-web-unindicted-operators-january-6/

    1. The only logical reason why Ray Epps and his half dozen coconspirators haven't been arrested during the past year (while hundreds of peaceful Trump supporters have been incarcerated for months) is because Epps and his coconspirators were/are FBI Agents or informants.

      1. So why has Reason (like all other left wing media propagandists) failed to report the facts about Jan 6?

        1. Same reason they couldn't talk about that Eric Chiaramella guy. If it's not in the daily talking points email, they're not allowed to talk about it, and Ray Epps isn't in the email.

      2. They could have been CIA or other departments. Fbi often outsources work for large gatherings.

  35. "The transition to endemicity was always going to be in part a psychological one," suggests The Atlantic's Sarah Zhang, "in which people slowly let go of the idea that COVID must or can be avoided forever. Omicron has simply made that clear very quickly."

    The vaccine is a lie

    1. >>people slowly let go of the idea

      what universe is Sarah Zhang from?

  36. Hemp compounds identified by Oregon State University research via a chemical screening technique invented at OSU show the ability to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from entering human cells.

    Weaving my hemp mask as we speak.

    1. Knowing Oregon State, they probably discovered this quite by accident.

  37. The transition to endemicity was always going to be in part a psychological one...

    Just like the abolitionist transition from slave to free states. And just as smooth.

  38. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may update guidance to say that not just any old masks will do.

    High larious.

  39. A group of 11 North Carolina voters filed a legal challenge to disqualify Rep. Madison Cawthorn from running for a second term, arguing his involvement in a rally preceding the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on Capitol Hill constitutionally bars him from waging another campaign...

    Preemptive election invalidation.

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