Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Republicans Love Federal Snooping

(Unless it's against Trump).

Binu Omanakkuttan/Dreamstime.comBinu Omanakkuttan/Dreamstime.comPresident Donald Trump and some Republican lawmakers in Congress insist that the president and his aides were inappropriately snooped on by politically motivated federal intelligence officials during the 2016 election. Yet when given the opportunity to scale back the FBI's power to secretly engage in domestic surveillance of American citizens, the president and the GOP did not take advantage of it. In fact, they did the opposite.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments was scheduled to sunset at the end of 2017 unless Congress renewed it. That provision authorizes the federal government to poke into communications of foreign targets, overseen by a secret court. While these powers are supposed to be used only to collect foreign intelligence and fight terrorism overseas, domestic communications also get quietly vacuumed up. Because these communications are typically collected without a warrant, there is reason for significant concern about privacy violations.

Surveillance officials are supposed to mask the identifying information of any Americans, but civil rights advocates warn that these powers are actually being used to collect evidence in wholly domestic cases, circumventing the requirements of the Fourth Amendment. Their fears were bolstered by Edward Snowden's disclosure that the government is storing massive amounts of data from Americans' email accounts and phones.

As Congress prepared to renew Section 702, a bipartisan coalition of concerned lawmakers demanded reforms. One bill—introduced by Sens. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) and Ron Wyden (D–Ore.) and Reps. Justin Amash (R–Mich.) and Zoe Lofgren (D–Calif.), among others—would have required officials to get a warrant to access Americans' communications or data, except in very limited emergency circumstances. The bill was supported by groups from across the political spectrum, including the American Civil Liberties Union and FreedomWorks.

Although Trump and Republican allies like Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Calif.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, say the FBI broke the rules to engage in surveillance against members of Trump's campaign, they resisted the chance to fix the underlying problem. In January, Nunes and 177 other GOP legislators voted against the bill to restrict domestic snooping, then advanced and passed a different bill to renew Section 702. Rather than scaling back domestic surveillance powers, the legislation expanded them, explicitly permitting the FBI to use foreign surveillance rules to fight domestic crimes.

Photo Credit: Binu Omanakkuttan/Dreamstime.com

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Michael Hihn||

    The price we pay for an authoritarian President, and a gutless Congress. Yet more two-faced hypocrisy from the former party of Goldwater/Reagan/Buckley/Kemp/Friedman .... not a single name comes to mind today. Maybe Flake,

    Democrats borrow trillions to pay for free stuff
    Republicans borrow trillions to pay for free tax cuts.
    They each rape the Treasury for ONLY their tribe. Self-righteously
    As a growing majority of Americans rejects loyalty to either gang..
    Left - Right = Zero

  • buybuydandavis||

    Democrats borrow trillions to pay for free stuff.
    Republicans borrow trillions to pay for free tax cuts.

    Actual libertarians will note that money is required to buy stuff, but it doesn't take a penny not to take other people's money.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Republicans borrow trillions to buy munitions, micromanage health care facilities for women, pay extra soldiers to sit around in Germany and Japan, conduct the drug war, buy more military ships, invade the wrong country, overpay for military procurement, engage in government surveillance, support authoritarian right-wing regimes, operate secret torture and endless detention facilities, and fund moronic abstinence programs.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Democrats thought Hillary would have been the best queen in US history.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Your bipolar mind thinks that made sense.

    Those same Democrats slurp, slurp, at the gummint teat, because they are ENTITLED,.

    You attack their sense of entitlement, which is fine ..... BUT then say YOU are ENTITLED to do the same, but you suck the right teat instead of the left teat.

    Oh.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    OMG, you wrote gibberish.

  • Michael Hihn||

    OMG, you wrote gibberish.

    Since you insist. (smirk)
    GIBBERISH??? That you PROUDLY screw your own father, children and grandchildren, so YOU, loveconstitution1789 (sic) can slurp at the gummint teat ...the Moral Hypocrisy of the Authoritarian Right..

    loveconstitution1789|2.8.18 @ 3:08PM|#

    My retired father loves politics and we often discuss the nature of things.
    I cannot get him to openly discuss social security and medicare reform with cuts. He is just hoping to check out before our debt crushes the USA. Its selfish as shit.

    Alt-Right TROLL says more crushing debt is okay .. ONLY if it lines HIS pocket!
    loveconstitution (sic) Insults HIS OWN FATHER, "selfish as shit" ... but DEFENDS his own sucking at the gummint teat! (OMG) .... claims that a multi-trillion debt increase (tax cut) is "giving my own money back " ...FROM WHERE, GOOBER?

    What kind of "fiscal conservative" DENIES federal debt is stealing from our future ... from his own children?

    HE WOULD CUT HIS FATHER'S BENEFITS .. AND STEAL FROM HIS OWN KIDS ... TO ENRICH HIMSELF, BECAUSE HE'S ......... "ENTITLED." ....... AND SELF-RIGHTEOUS!

    Libtards borrow trillions for free stuff
    Conservatards borrow trillions for free tax cuts.
    Marching America toward Hell ... arm-in-arm

    Left - Right = Zero

  • wareagle||

    And the Dems borrow for social programs, union giveaways, the occasional military adventure because they also hold defense contractor stocks, etc etc. Is there a point?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Not sure who you're asking. But the only honest point is that one party borrows trillions to pay for free stuff. The other borrows trillions to pay for tax cuts. And they're both self-righteous hypocrites.

    Left - Right = Zero

  • Agammamon||

    micromanage health care facilities for women

    1. You're upset that the Republicans only want to micromanage it for women, instead of the Democrats wanting to micromanage it for everyone?

    2. Allowing health care clinics to select which services they will or will not provide is the opposite of micromanaging.

    3. Abortion clinics, no matter how you stretch the term or how pro-life you are, are not health care facilities.

    4. Everything else, the Democrats have done when they had control - they are key party planks of the Democratic Party. Yes, even the War on Drugs.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Abortion clinics, no matter how you stretch the term or how pro-life you are, are not health care facilities.

    Not entirely, but neither are most hospitals.

    Despite the bullshit of the Christian Taliban,. Planned Parenthood is the ONLY Medicaid provider in many inner cities. Providers need somebody or something to subsidize HUGE Medicaid losses. Physicians do it by overcharging the privately insured -- which are insufficient in many inner cities -- so NO DOCTORS ... without Planned Parenthood. Their Medicaid subsidies come from ... abortions..

    Because abortions pay the rent, utilities and office overhead -- PP can treat Medicaid with only enough revenue to pay the DIRECT COSTS (no overhead to be recovered)

    Yes, money is fungible, but anyone who believes PROFITABLE abortions are subsidized by MONEY-LOSING Medicaid is "thinking" at the same level as most of Bernie's cult Pupppets on a string.

  • JesseAz||

    Hey idiot... Less than ten percent of planned Parenthood have any diagnostic equipment. They write referrals to actual clinics. Ones the poor on Medicaid can go to without ever stepping into a planned Parenthood.

  • Michael Hihn||

    JesseAz is REALLY uninformed, thus easily manipulated -- since he's talking about mammograms, CAT scans and the like and totally ignorant that the vast majority of clinics do referral.

    THE EQUIPMENT IS TOO COSTLY to have more than a few machines in any major market, Here in Boise, a mid-size metro (700,000) there are ONLY TWO providers of such testing -- each aligned with one of our two major hospitals.

    Again, Planned Parenthood is the SOLE Medicaid provider for millions of inner-city women ... but they'e mostly niggers so who cares? (/sarc)

  • Agammamon||

    Planned Parenthood is the ONLY Medicaid provider in many inner cities.

    1. That's just patently untrue. Its not true. That's not the way the real world is.

    2. Accepting Medicaid doesn't mean you provide health care services.

  • Michael Hihn||

    You're now humiliating yourself.

    Planned Parenthood is the ONLY Medicaid provider in many inner cities.

    1. That's just patently untrue. Its not true. That's not the way the real world is.

    The real world of Medicaid financing is laid out here. Which part(s) of that do you challenge? Be specific.

    2. Accepting Medicaid doesn't mean you provide health care services

    Neither does accepting Medicare or any private insurance. What's your point?

    So, are YOU also saying that Medicaid subsidized abortions?
    If so, how can a money-losing product subsidize one that covers its own losses?
    (this should be good!)

  • Devastator||

    1. Republicans and Democrats are different sides of the same "do as i say not as I do" coin
    2. I somewhat agree
    3. Abortion clinics are health care facilities providing women what they want, no one gives a fuck about your morals.
    4. The Republicans are just as bad, they just want to take a different set of freedoms than the democrats and just as full of shit.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Amen, said the atheist

  • Devastator||

    Libertarians are the only party that support a balanced budget. Sure the Republicans said they did, but they were full of shit, they just want to spend it somewhere else and make sure their 0.1% don't have to pay any taxes at all.

  • Just Say'n||

    Are you nuts? Rand Paul has been consistent on this issue. No other senator has been (including Fonzie and the gang's favorite senator)

  • Michael Hihn||

    Are you nuts?

    I can read.
    You missed, "Yet more two-face hypocrisy" and "borrow trillions to pay for free tax cuts"
    where he is ... the ... very .... worst ... moral ... hypocrite ... in the US Senate!!

    Caught up in the rapture of your cult, you misseds that he snarled and raged about $1 trillion in new debt from the spending bill ... even threatening to shut down the federal government over the debt increase ... then voted for a deficit TWICE AS LARGE in .... free tax cuts,

    Anything else?

  • Just Say'n||

    God you're dumb

  • Just Say'n||

    Tax cuts do not create deficits this is a Democratic talking point that cosmotarians have embraced because there really isn't a difference between them and progressives anymore.

    The federal government has a spending problem- not a revenue problem.

  • Michael Hihn||

    $200 Tax revenue -$200 Spending = Balance

    Increase Spending by $50

    200 - 250 = 50 deficit

    Cut taxes by $50

    150 -200 = 50 deficit

    Any questions?

  • JesseAz||

    You're premise only works if you think the government grants citizens the right to keep the government's money. Instead of people keeping what they earn.

  • Michael Hihn||

    You're premise

    It's arithmetic, as taught in the 2nd or 3rd grade.

  • Michael Hihn||

    God you're dumb

    Must I ridicule you AGAIN?

  • DenverJ||

    Yeah, because spending too much is exactly the same as letting people keep more of their own money. Fuck you, cut spending.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Denver
    Yeah, because spending too much is exactly the same as letting people keep more of their own money.

    For the defici, which is what I said. Elementary school arithmetic

    Check the link, then ask any remaining questions.

  • JesseAz||

    You're base premises that earned money is the government's and not the individuals is proof you are not a libertarian, moron.

  • The Metonymy||

    Yup.

  • Michael Hihn||

    You're base premises that earned money is the government's and not the individuals is proof you are not a libertarian,

    Where does your tax cut come from?
    I'M A MORON, BUT YOU DON'Y KNOW THIS TAX CUT WAS PAID BY MONEY STOLEN FROM YOUR CHILDREN!

    You're ENTITLED to money taken from others, no different than a Welfare Queen.
    But you're more self-righteous about your teat-sucking.

    Libertarians do NOT suck off our unborn children and grandchildren.

    Democrats borrow trillions to pay for free stuff.
    Republicans borrow trillions to pay for free tax cuts.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Indeed, Rand Paul has been far more consistent on privacy than Democrats.

  • Just Say'n||

    Don't tell Fonzie and the gang.

  • Shirley Knott||

    "Authoritarian president" is redundant. When, in the last 120 years, have we had a president who wasn't authoritarian?
    When have we had a congress that wasn't gut.ess?
    Left = Right = Authoritarian

  • Mr. Gus||

    I dunno, maybe Coolidge? He seemed pretty laid back.

  • Michael Hihn||

    I can think of one who ...
    1) Was defending gays in the 1970s, decades before it became fashionable on the left, even bringing down the nationwide anti-gay Anita Bryant Campaign

    2) Formed an actual committee, led by an entrepreneurial billionaire, staffed by hundreds of hands-on accountant and business managers, who went out into the departments (not just hearings) and proposed spending cuts that would have totaled $10 trillion by 2000.

    3) When the spending cuts were BURIED in committee, in a Congress controlled by his own party, he asked for a Line Item Veto ... against his own party.

    4) Sought a first step toward restoring Federalism. Consolidate major programs, run from 2-3 levels of government , into a single level, so SOMEBODY could be held accountable. NEARLY passed, but ALSO sabotaged by his own party.

    5) Was a VERY devout Christian, the most open about it perhaps ever, but was SAVAGED by the "Moral Majority" for totally ignoring their church/state agenda. When the "pastors" attacked him, their followers stood by him, ignored them

    6) Passed THE most consequential tax cuts in the postwar era, launching the strongest boom ... from THE .... WORST ... RECESSION since the Great D (still)

    If you HATE government you see failures, and mostly whine, piss and moan..
    If you LOVE liberty, you see to ACHIEVE PROGRESS, celebrate victories, and look for the next opening, FIGHT for every possible gain, even a quarter-inch.

    Which are the losers? Which are the winners?

  • Agammamon||

    Jimmy Carter FTW

  • Michael Hihn||

    Jimmy Carter FTW

    You not only flunked history, they've banned you from the classroom! Carter handed off a recession that was far worse than what Dubya handed off -- with nothing close to the 2008 crash (created by Clinton).

    Jimmy gets MAJOR plaudits for deregulation, with the able help of Ted Kennedy,
    Overall, nothing remotely close to what I listed.

  • Agammamon||

    So, its the President's fault when a recession happens now?

  • Agammamon||

    As for 'flunking history, Carter is, literally, the only genuinely religious President from Nixon onwards. And quite possibly of the 20th and 21st centuries combined.

  • Michael Hihn||

    As for 'flunking history,

    Now flunking math, I listed 6 achievements -- and even numbered them for you -- you claim ONE (16%) and take a victory lap.`

    Carter is, literally, the only genuinely religious President from Nixon onwards.

    Nixon was "genuinely religious? And Carer's religiosity, a PROGRESSIVE evangelical somehow cancels out an equally religious NON-evangelical who achieved ALL SIX on my list. So you're one of THOSE Evangelicals?

    I don't INTEND to break your heart, but Carter ENDORSED the defense of gay schoolteachers - decisively won by the then-future President ... thereby Carter "conspired" in the collapse of the nationwide, anti-gay Anita Bryant Crusade, then a backbone of the Moral Majority.

    Anything else?

  • Michael Hihn||

    So, its the President's fault when a recession happens now?

    No. That's just the biggest factor in your blunder.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Both parties are authoritarian by and large, but they are that way because politicians have exploited the electoral system by appealing to the most uninformed segments of the public. So, in the end, the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the American people.

    It's exactly why we now have far, far too many laws and so much bad law, and the public essentially demands that instead of repealing that bad law, they should double-down on that bad law.

  • Michael Hihn||

    by appealing to the most uninformed segments of the public.

    Who are now the core base of both major parties. The ranks of independents are growing. The partisan primaries must end; we are now governed by a minority

  • Michael Hihn||

    "Authoritarian president" is redundant. When, in the last 120 years, have we had a president who wasn't authoritarian?

    NONE have so openly, repeatedly, and brazenly defied the Constitution

    To anti-gummint goobers, the entire federal government is a teeming cauldron of murderous fascists, who drink blood and rape school children. And a free society can magically appear by .... snapping our fingers ... because NOBODY has to ever get elected ... we need NO ways to do ANYTHING better (when Americans are eager for even radical change) ... and elections are for spouting "libertarian ideas" .... and NEVER a single policy solution for ANYTHING.

    To us pro-liberty types -- who live in the real world -- we look to see who has moved us IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION ... closer toward liberty ,... which is ALL anyone can expect without a voting majority ... which requires actual policy solutions.

    The 2016

  • Michael Hihn||

    The 2016 election was total and absolute repudiation of anti-gummint libertarianism that has DESTROYED our movement, ... such that the libertarian label is rejected by 91% of libertarians In Cato's own words:

    "In our Zogby survey we found that only 9 percent of voters with libertarian views identify themselves that way." -David Boaz and David Kirby (page search for the words)

    100 - 9 = 91% rejection.

    That tells us who got Trump elected. He was the only one offering solutions ... they were smoke, mirrors and solutions ... but the only thing on the table.

    Shame on US.

  • Brian||

    How did the 2016 election effect your cited poll results from 2006?

    Left - Right = time travel?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Also not calling youself something is not necessarily a rejection of a label. Particularly if they are not familiar with the label.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Also not calling youself something is not necessarily a rejection of a label. Particularly if they are not familiar with the label.

    If was defined in the survey. One choice was (paraphrased) "Fiscally conservative and socially liberal, also known as libertarian."

    And doesn't matter. The larger point is that over 60% would call themselves fiscally conservative and socially liberal. What does that say about the two major parties? Or liberals vs conservatives? Or Ron Paul?

    These surveys compare a product or service with its brand name, to see if the brand enhances or detracts from the product. These results are literally "toxic". The brand damages the product. THAT is CRITICAL to know,

    They were also compared, as I cited. Of those who identify as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. 25% of them drop away when "libertarian" was added to the same definition. In simple English, 25% of them say "I'm fiscally conservative and socially liberal, only if it's NOT called libertarian."

    In my near 50 years as a marketing professional, I have NEVER seen a brand THAT toxic.

  • Michael Hihn||

    How did the 2016 election effect your cited poll results from 2006?

    Left - Right = time travel?

    Only because you've confused the cause year with the effect year. Anything else?

  • Brian||

    What does "such that" mean?

  • Michael Hihn||

    I apologize to Brian
    Good point. I MEANT to say something "such that (therefor) the election results confirm the survey, which we keep ignoring.".

    Apparently, Gary SAYING most voters are fiscally conservative and socially liberal -- and is he --- with NO explicit examples or policy proposals, likely had voters scratching their heads in wonder.

    Sad, in that he's always been good at defying the libertarian establishment -- like noting that Ron Paul is no libertarian. His "bake a cake" position was massively lied about, but that may have been both the establishment and the anti-gummint clique.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    You don't pay for tax cuts, you pay for spending.

  • Michael Hihn||

    You don't pay for tax cuts, you pay for spending

    Another one to prove my point.
    "We don't NEED no steeenkeeeng spending cuts ... it's letting me keep my own money!"

    Stolen from his own children and grandchildren. Welcome to right-wing snowflakery.

    P.S. Why would you CELEBRATE feeding live humans into woodchipppers for ... daring to disagree with you?

  • Agammamon||

    No man - I'm not stealing anything because I am not consuming the 'services' funded by deficit spending. That's where your welfare entitlements are funded from. That's where your Federal police forces fighting the War on Drugs/trafficking/whatever comes from. That's where your eternal War on Terrorism comes from.

    The politicians you keep telling us to support are stealing their power from *your* (not my) grandchildren.

    Stop trying to steal my present to protect your kids.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Thanks Agammamon , that's a better way to ridicule them, if a bit wordy for my response here..

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Another one to prove my point.
    "We don't NEED no steeenkeeeng spending cuts ... it's letting me keep my own money!"

    Stolen from his own children and grandchildren. Welcome to right-wing snowflakery.

    What the hell are you babbling about? Reducing revenue is not something one pays for. You pay for the things you spend on, and if you don't have the money on hand you have to borrow to pay for the spending you want. That borrowing is done to pay for ... spending, not tax cuts.

    P.S. Why would you CELEBRATE feeding live humans into woodchipppers for ... daring to disagree with you?

    If that's what you think I'm doing then you're nuttier than squirrel shit -- but I repeat myself.

  • Michael Hihn||

    What the hell are you babbling about?

    The arithmetic you will learn in 2nd or 3rd grade

    Balance

    $200 Tax revenue -$200 Spending = %0 deficit or surplus

    Increase Spending by $50

    200 - 250 = 50 deficit

    Cut taxes by $50

    150 -200 = 50 deficit

    Still confused?

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Still confused?

    Nope, but apparently you still are.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Elementary school arithmetic is BEYOND Get To Da Chipper? One more time, Goober

    *Balance .... $200 Tax revenue -$200 Spending = $0 deficit or surplus

    *Increase Spending by $50 ... 200 - 250 = 50 deficit

    *Cut taxes by $50 .... 150 -200 = 50 deficit

    STILL confused????

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    STILL confused????

    Nope, but apparently you still are.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Hihn, if you make $500 per week from your employer, but then suddenly your pay is cut to $450 per week going forward, how much money per week do you begin paying your employer?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Depends if it's crackers to slip a rozzer, the dropsy in snide.

    Does $50 = $50?
    Even if my employer goes BANKRUPT?

    (boldface AGAIN in self-defense of repeated aggression)

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Depends if it's crackers to slip a rozzer, the dropsy in snide.

    Um, are you feeling okay, Mike? Pain in your left arm, perhaps? I really think you should call 911 just in case.

  • Michael Hihn||

    That was ridicule. Gibberish in response to gibberish.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Oh. It was gibberish only to you, I would think.

  • Michael Hihn||

    P.S. Why would you CELEBRATE feeding live humans into woodchipppers for ... daring to disagree with you?

    If that's what you think I'm doing then you're nuttier than squirrel shit .

    That's what it means on THIS web site.

    popehat.com

    DOJ is targeting Reason.com, a leading libertarian website whose clever writing is eclipsed only by the blowhard stupidity of its commenting peanut gallery. Why is the government using its vast power to identify these obnoxious asshats,

    Several commenters on the post found the sentence unjust, and vented their feelings in a rough manner.
    Its judges like these that should be taken out back and shot.

    It's judges like these that will be taken out back and shot. FTFY.

    Why waste ammunition? Wood chippers get the message across clearly. Especially if you feed them in feet first.

    Why do it out back? Shoot them out front, on the steps of the courthouse.

    Fuck that. I don't want to pay for that cunt's food, housing, and medical. Send her through the wood chipper.

    Why else would you say Get To Da Woodchipper?
    On THIS web site?

    you're nuttier than squirrel shit

    Anything else?

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Anything else?

    Yes. You should probably look into the possibility that one can believe one shouldn't be arrested for doing something while at the same time not CELEBRATING what was done. It's probably a distinction that's too subtle for you to grasp though.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Why else would you say Get To Da Woodchipper?
    On THIS web site?

    NO ANSWER! (lol)

    That's as crazy as denying your MATH screwup here.

    (Boldface in defense of more bulltying and aggression)

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    NO ANSWER! (lol)

    No answer you'd comprehend, anyway.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Now stalking me!
    This is what happens if one calls out a bully. -- who celebrates feeding humans into wood chippers.

    This one even says that $50 does NOT equal $50, when it's in-con-veeeeeeeen-yent.

    Still boldface in self-defense of repeated aggression, now stalking, by a "manly man."

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    If responding to you = stalking, then you have been stalking me just as much.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Bullies ALWAYS confuse THEIR aggression with their VICTIM'S defense.
    His lengthy aggression was launched here..

    What the hell are you babbling about? ... you're nuttier than squirrel shit -- but I repeat myself.

    Bellowing Blowhard, and he kept escalating. He who celebrates feeding humans into a wood chipper.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Says the guy who ranted about 'right-wing snowflakery' in response to me before the post he's citing as aggression.

    Do you smell bread?

  • Michael Hihn||

    (smirk) That's called a supported argument! Flakery is an understatement for the right-wing entitlement mentality

    "We don't NEED no steeenkeeeng spending cuts ... it's letting me keep my own money!"

    Stolen from his own children and grandchildren. Welcome to right-wing snowflakery.

    Democrats borrow trillions for free stuff
    Republicans borrow trillions for free spending cuts.

    Will you make a FIFTH denial that $50 = $50?

    Boldface in self-defense from repeated verbal aggression .... by the same mentality that BRAGS of feeding people into a wood chipper for DARING to .... disagree ... actually WORSE than a left-wing snowflake!.

  • JesseAz||

    Your idiocy only comes close to rational thought if you believe government had an efficiency factor near one. Or if you're an idiot liberal who believe the multiplier is above one. Both Harvard and the Chicago school of economics has reviewed the so called Keynesian multiplier and found it to be near .7 in the most efficient of government programs. Any taxes raised by the government is a 30% loss to market based economics. So your entire belief system is based on idiocy.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Your idiocy only comes close to rational thought if you believe government had an efficiency factor near one.

    Diversion. The arithmetic is at the level of a 10-year-old girl. Where do you see a Keynesian Multiplier here?

    Start from Balance: $200 Tax revenue -$200 Spending = $0

    a) Increase Spending by $50 ... 200 - 250 = 50 deficit

    b) Cut taxes by $50 ... 150 -200 = 50 deficit

    Please be specific on where you imagine that Keynesian multiplier to be.
    Anything else?

  • Star1988||

    How is it that in our free-market healthcare system, MRI's routinely 'cost' $30,000, when they cost $400-$1,200 everywhere else on the planet?

    It's an honest question. I don't really understand how the private insurance market has jacked up the cost of simple medical procedures by such crazy amounts. I.e., how is that in their best interest? What is going on with costs in the US? Shouldn't our market-based system provide lower cost health services?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Most countries don't even do MRIs. Or you'd have proof.

  • Michael Hihn||

    MRIs are not "simple medical procedures.

    Do you "understand" why Canada's Medicare was ruled "an unconstitutional threat to human life," citing all the Canadians dying on waiting lists of a year or more?

    Or "understand" England, where their equivalent of an Inspector General, found that THOUSANDS of patients were rolled into EMPTY rooms, ABANDONED and DIED ... many found in their own excrement? From UNDERSTAFFING?

    Government health care requires betting your life -- literally -- that politicians, facing budget shortfalls, will ALWAYS increase your taxes ... and NEVER cut your benefits.

    Anything else?

  • Michael Hihn||

    How is it that in our free-market healthcare system, MRI's routinely 'cost' $30,000,

    It's actually $1,200 -$4,000 And there's no such thing as a "routine" MRI (proof below)
    "Tribalism" means being manipulated as a tool of the political elites. Yours here is as badly as any of the Trumpsters.

    This from the highest-ranked source on Bing

    MRI costs range from $1,200 to $4,000 (with contrast), which is usually more expensive than CT scans and X-rays, and most examining methods.

    Depending on what the MRI is looking for, and where it is needing to look, the scan may be quick (finished in 10-15 minutes) or may take a long time (2 hours).

    There's more at the site, like MRI vs CT Scans. I've had both. They are for totally different purposes.

    (CT) "Suited for bone injuries, Lung and Chest imaging, cancer detection. Widely used on Emergency Room patients". Uses radiation

    (MRI) "Suited for Soft tissue evaluation, e.g., ligament and tendon injury, spinal cord injury, brain tumors, etc." No radiation.

  • Nardz||

    Really don't see the point of this note from Scott.
    Politicians are hypocrites who expand power over others while reducing people's power over themselves... stop the presses!
    Since it calls out Rs, can we be assured that Ds voted against the bill en masse, and/or reduced surveillance authority when they were in power?
    No? Is that why they're not mentioned?
    Looks like this note, then, serves the purpose only of bashing the Rs... implicitly promoting Ds via omission.
    Looks like nothing more than a note of partisanship hiding under the guise of a "libertarian" "article".
    R:D::Ba'ath:ISIS

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You sound like a fan of right-wing authoritarians, Nardz. Which part attracts you most -- the bigotry, the lousy education, or the superstition-laced backwardness?

    Thank you.

  • MichaeI Hihn||

    Someone needs a hug.

  • Michael Hihn||

    You sound like a fan of right-wing authoritarians

    You haven't seen this fascist before?
    But yours sounds like the same thing he was guilty of -- bipolar thinking.

    Left - Right = Zero.
    Both totally useless.Two ships racing each other downward. Which will crash to the ocean floor first?

  • MichaeI Hihn||

    The WINNER.

    Correct?

    (is joke)

    Would we like to play a game, Professor?

  • Michael Hihn||

    I'm the only one who knows why you're here. I think.
    And if my guess is correct. I happen to agree. (gasp)

  • MichaeI Hihn||

    I thought this was going to be a lot more difficult than it's turning out to be. Thanks for being willing to hear me. I appreciate it.

    Also, thanks for taking it philosophically that I took your handle for a joyride. I apologize for the discomfort that must have caused.

    Did you see the general tone and tenor in the comments on Gillespie's latest? By Jove, I think it's having an effect. Just a touch - here and there. It's a start.

  • Michael Hihn||

    No discomfort, once I saw you weren't a raging asshole, and the exact opposite.
    Agree on Gillespie's latest. But these comments are owned by the Authoritarian Right.

    It's like free markets. Reason is the only major political website that refuses (literally) to moderate their comments. Many have closed down comments entirely. So, as the only unregulated market for bullies and blowhards, they come here when thrown off other sites.

    I've seen it for decades, was a moderator for the first-ever libertarian online forum in 1992, at Compuserve. Even moderated forums have 90% of the readers never comment. Keep talking to THEM and ignore the rabble. Let them see SOME sanity on a libertarian site. They'll sort it all out just fine.

  • Hugh Akston||

    The Republican party holds the majority of seats in the House and the Senate, and they control the executive branch. The point of this article is that the Republicans had the rare opportunity to pare back the surveillance state regardless of what the Democrats wanted, but they didn't.

  • Michael Hihn||

    They fail on EVERYTHING ... even the deficit they WHINED about ... increasing it by over $3 trillion.
    What a sack of losers.

  • Just Say'n||

    Kind of like when Democrats had super majorities in both houses and the executive in 2008 and 2009? Or is that different because reasons?

  • Just Say'n||

    They even had a president who pledged to end the Patriot Act during the campaign. Haha

  • Michael Hihn||

    Is that the same dude who ran as a moderate on health care reform, OPENLY ridiculed a mandate -- see Gary Johnson's ads.

    The guy who offered Republicans a bipartisan health care bill that would have likely killed single-payer FOREVER? That guy? But Republicans rejected the offer, which forced Obama to his far-left -- Rockefeller Democrats were the last "deal"

    Under Kennedy. Republicans were offered a deal on tax cuts AND TOOK IT. They're still called the Kennedy tax cuts HE GOT CREDIT! (OMG)

    Kennedy did not NEED his far-left, which opposed it quietly (like GOP opposes Trump). The AFL-CIO attacked loudly and publicly it as -- what else? -- tax cuts for the rich.

    Point being, ANY President seeking to govern only with his own goobers will FAIL. Reagan's later tax cuts were a direct copy (different numbers) of Kennedy's .. supported by even Ted Kennedy

    Anything else?

  • JesseAz||

    If you think ACA was ever going to work let alone kill the push for single payer, the you're a bigger idiot than I gave you credit for.

  • Michael Hihn||

    If you think ACA was ever going to work let alone kill the push for single payer, the you're a bigger idiot than I gave you credit for.

    Describe for me what it is that the Republicans refused.I

    I never said it would work, but ... THINK ... how much worse is it BECAUSE Republican dumbfucks empowered the far left?

    While describing for me what the Republicans fucked up, also tell me what had to be added to please the far left. THINK. Something had to be added ... which would gain the far left ... that would not have otherwise been there?

    I'll summarize to simplify it. When Republicans refused the deal which would have likely killed single-payer forever ... what they rejected was replaced with what the far-left wanted. Thus the GOP fucked us TWICE ...
    1) we lost the good part
    2) replaced with the bad parts.

    Well?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Kind of like when Democrats had super majorities in both houses and the executive in 2008 and 2009? Or is that different because reasons?

    Had they they whined about the debt?
    They campaigned on health care reform ... and passed it.

    Left - Right = Zero
    And whatbaboutism is evasion.

  • Just Say'n||

    Yes, most of them are hypocrites. But, couldn't someone easily say "so called civil libertarians hate the surveillance state unless it's being used against people they don't want in office"?

    There are a lot of people who have exposed themselves as hypocrites during this presidency.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Important news from Raw Story's Twitter!

    Corey Lewandowski flashes white power 'OK' symbol on stage at Trump's Michigan rally

    Disgraceful. I really wish Mueller would hurry up and throw this white supremacist regime out of office.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Mueller's got nothing against Trump so far or he would have done it already.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    I have faith in Mueller. He has years of experience and an unblemished record of service to the American people. I even read on Twitter that he single-handedly dismantled the Gambino crime family.

    The process is moving more slowly than I'd like, but maybe he's waiting to present his full case until after the midterm elections, when the #BlueWave gives us a Democratic House.

    #Impeach
    #Resist
    #TrumpRussia

  • Rat on a train||

    Mueller is waiting for someone to turn and testify that it was Trump on the grassy knoll.

  • JuanQPublic||

    ...when the #BlueWave gives us a Democratic House.

    The Democrats are already sealing their fate, though. The latest numbers aren't encouraging for them at all, with no consideration for actual voter turnout. Essentially, the same reason they lost the 2016 presidential.

    Riding the anti-Trump wave isn't going to cut it. They aren't running on a platform at all. You can count on Trump voters to show at the polls. What's going to mobilize Democrats to actually vote?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Mueller is pushing the obstruction of justice charge for firing Comey--which is laughable.

    You might disagree with the president's decisions, but he is constitutionally charged with firing his subordinates.

    The president exercising his constitutional powers in firing a subordinate cannot be obstruction of justice.

    It might be awful or bad or wrong or stupid or not advisable. But it isn't obstruction of justice.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Mueller is pushing the obstruction of justice charge for firing Comey--which is laughable.

    Trump confessed to it, on live TV, witnessed by over 100 million Americans.

    Trump told us you'd lie to defend him from even murder. So HE says nobody should believe a word you say ... and you've just confirmed why.

    If you're being investigated, firing the investigator is obstruction. And abuse of power.
    And we know you'd defend Trump, even if he shot Comey to death, because Trump says you will. Why would you stand by somebody who says you're a useless piece of shit, totally lacking in morals or conscience? It's as if Jews had crawled on their hands and knees, begging Hitler to gas them.

  • wareagle||

    Trump confessed to it, on live TV, witnessed by over 100 million Americans.
    The executive confessed to firing someone who worked for him. Comey wasn't investigating dick. Meanwhile, his #2 - McCabe - was recommended for dismissal by the agency itself. Hmmmm.

  • Michael Hihn||

    The executive confessed to firing someone who worked for him. Comey wasn't investigating

    Trump SAID he fired Comey because of the Russian investigation. Live TV, over 100 million witnesses. Starts at about 1:20 here

    A few days later, at his SHAMEFUL private meeting with Russian officials, he said firing Comey removed the pressure of the Russian probe.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If you're being investigated, firing the investigator is obstruction"

    That might be interesting if Comey were investigating Trump. And it might seem that way--since Mueller was Comey's mentor and although he's supposed to be investigating his former protege, he seems to be looking at everything except for his Comey's obvious misbehavior.

    Regardless, firing the director of the FBI still isn't obstruction of justice. It cannot be a crime for the president to exercise his executive powers in a constitutional way--no matter how much you disagree with his decisions or dislike him personally. There isn't anything in the Constitution about how it's obstruction of justice for the president to fire the people who are working for him. To the contrary, the president is charged with firing the people who work for him--by the Constitution.

    If you don't like what the Constitution says, you can change it through an amendment. You can pretend that it's obstruction for the president to fire the people who work for him. You can pretend that doing jumping jacks in the Lincoln bedroom is money laundering and arson. What you can't do is show that it's obstruction of justice for the president to fire the people who are working for him in real life--and that's because it isn't.

    No matter how much you want it to be obstruction of justice, it still isn't.

  • Michael Hihn||

    You're wrong. AS DOCUMENTED here.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Mueller's got nothing against Trump so far or he would have done it already.

    That sounds like an Ouachita Baptist education talking.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't think that's much of a stretch.

    So far, Muller has managed to force two potential star witnesses to confess to lying--which hurts their credibility. No prosecutor wants to force the people he's trying to flip with by charging them with lying. After you've forced someone to plead guilty to lying, their credibility as witnesses is shot.

    On the other hand, Mueller is going after the president for obstruction of justice--for performing his duties as president in a perfectly constitutional manner.

    If Mueller had something, he wouldn't be making his best witnesses plead guilty to lying and chasing the president on a constitutionally ridiculous grounds. If he had something substantial, he'd have shown his hand by now. The most reasonable assumption given the absence of evidence or charges is that Mueller is biding his time, hoping that the Democrats take control of congress and use what little he has to impeach.

    He's just waiting for a Democrat jury--and that is not the behavior of a prosecutor with a smoking gun.

  • Michael Hihn||

    If Mueller had something, he wouldn't be making his best witnesses plead guilty to lying

    You are SO funny with all the wacky Trump excuses.

    This is ELEMENTARY. He doesn't MAKE them plead guilty. Why would ANYONE freely plead guilty -- except as a deal to escape a greater crime? And why would Mueller make the offer unless he had something to gain?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Mueller's got nothing against Trump so far or he would have done it already.

    He's got plenty, but getting more. That's how it works. This "set" is a treasure trove of corruption, and we SEE him opening new threads and paths to pursue,

    Cohen. Do you know that he never throws out an old mobile phone? The raid found SIXTEEN cell phones. That's 16 sets of call records. Mueller is up to his KNEES in evidence. And Trump seems compelled to screw himself with his own words.
  • DenverJ||

    Please cite the administration's policies which make it a white supremacist regime. Ok thanks.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Ready? (lol)

    There's only one issue from Charlottesville ... WHO INITIATED VIOLENCE ... everything else is desperation and diversion by the Alt-right ... and the DISGRACE of Presdient Trump;/

    If YOU care about the truth. These are the best SHORT videos -- for angles and timing -- UNDENIABLE PROOF (except to psychos)


    The initial assault.

    "Alt-Left" standing peacefully, no visible clubs or bats.
    Alt-Right Facsists/Racists crash into them en massse, swinging clubs.
    Fascists are carrying the same shields as cops in riot gear. They CAME for violence

    Overhead drone video of Trump's heroes committing the murder and mayhem that YOU defend .. More UNDENIABLE proof that Trump and his fellow barbarians are … subhuman scum.

    These are Nazis, Racists and Jew-Haters. Ivanka and Jerod are Jewish.
    Trump threw his own daughter under a bus, playing to the very worst in his base SHAMEFUL.

    But ... but ... HILLARY'S EMAILS. (smirk)

  • DenverJ||

    So a bunch of retards in Charlottesville = administration policy? God, I'd forgotten what an idiot you are.

  • Michael Hihn||

    So a bunch of retards in Charlottesville = administration policy?

    YOU changed it to policy.

    God, I'd forgotten what an idiot you are

    Did the PROOF "trigger" your safe zone, precious snowflake?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    OK, let's be fair;

    'Republicans' of the political class love surveillance because they believe that they are exempt - not because they are Republicans but because they are of the political class.

    Republican voters have reluctantly accepted that common sense anti-crime and anti-terrorism measures (like not accepting young men refugees from Islamic States who have spotty backgrounds) are't going to be kept in place in the face to Leftist schweeming, and at least want enough surveillance in place that violent nuts get caught before they kill hundreds.

  • Cy||

    It's a valid point that, we're basically being given two choices by our "betters;" either total surveillance by the pubs or a tidal wave of illegals, including terrorists, by the rats.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "President Donald Trump and some Republican lawmakers in Congress insist that the president and his aides were inappropriately snooped on by politically motivated federal intelligence officials during the 2016 election. Yet when given the opportunity to scale back the FBI's power to secretly engage in domestic surveillance of American citizens, the president and the GOP did not take advantage of it. In fact, they did the opposite.

    This bit makes me suspect that Shackford doesn't fully grok what the FBI did to the Trump campaign.

    The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court (FISA) rejected only 12 of 38,169 requests for surveillance warrants between 1979 and 2015.

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/03.....-rejected/

    With a 99.9% batting average, the FISA court rejected the FBI's application for a warrant to conduct surveillance on the Trump campaign (twice). I guess even the rubber stamp of a FISA court was reluctant to okay something that smelled like a Nixonian campaign surveillance scheme.

    The FBI eventually resubmitted the application--but the last time they included the infamous "Piss-gate" dossier. Despite being aware of the "Piss-gate" dossier's provenance, the FBI neglected to mention in their application for a FISA warrant to the court that the dossier had been paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

  • Ken Shultz||

    We shouldn't conflate the issue of FISA courts being a rubber stamp 99.9% of the time with the issue of the FBI running interference for the Hillary Clinton campaign. One is a question of whether our Fourth Amendment rights are being adequately protected. The other is a question of whether the FBI was working to undermine one presidential candidate in favor of another.

    If Shackford can't tell the difference between those two issues, he should review the available information until it becomes clear.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I guess the highly abbreviated version is:

    Why would Republicans react to abuse of the FISA court by the FBI with scaling back the FISA court?

    "President Donald Trump and some Republican lawmakers in Congress insist that the president and his aides were inappropriately snooped on by politically motivated federal intelligence officials during the 2016 election. Yet when given the opportunity to scale back the FBI's power to secretly engage in domestic surveillance of American citizens, the president and the GOP did not take advantage of it. In fact, they did the opposite.

    Where have I seen this logic before?

    Republicans criticized some nutjob for killing innocent children with an "assault rifle" at an elementary school. Yet when given the opportunity to ban "assault weapons", the president and the GOP did not take advantage of it?!

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't like the FISA courts and the fact that they're effectively a rubber stamp. However, misuse does not justify taking away legitimate use. Criminals using guns don't justify taking guns away from people who have never done anything wrong, and it's perfectly understandable if some in the GOP think the FBI running interference on one presidential campaign for the benefit of another is unacceptable--even if they also think that the FISA courts serve a legitimate purpose (when the FBI isn't withholding critical information from the court and abusing the system).

    We throw people in jail for misusing their guns and violating people's rights. Not sure I understand why we aren't pursuing the same strategy with rogue agents of the FBI who appear to have abused the FISA court.

    I bet the judge is livid.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Democrats love snooping and want more.

    Water is wet.

  • JuanQPublic||

    The amount of denial of Democratic voters about their own party on most of the issues regarding authoritarianism is nearly overwhelming at this point. Like the GOP, they simply have no guiding principles on issues of privacy and government overreach. Essentially, they are guided by reflex to Trump and the GOP, and little more, save for a handful of Democrats.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Democrats love snooping and want more.Trumpster unaware that Republicans INCREASED surveillance. And if Trump shot somebody to death ...
  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hihn, Remember when Obama actually ordered an American and his American son shot dead with a drone?

    When has Trump ever shot an American dead?

  • Michael Hihn||

    WHOOOOOOOOOSH. It was TRUMP who said you'd stand by him, even if he shot somebody to death, in broad daylight, with witnesses. The REAL issue is larger than your Obama Derangement Syndrome. Listen and learn.

    The first New Deal President placed American Citizens into Concentration Camps, no trials, no charges even filed.

    The second New Deal President defends KILLS American citizens, no trials, no charges even filed.

    It's about statism, not your incessant partisan sneering, smirking and whining.

    Anything else?

  • Devastator||

    Quit living in a silo, both parties want to be able to snoop. It's one of the few bipartisan supported overreaches of government.

  • Birdie||

    Sarah Sanders got a small taste of the medicine Trump dishes out all the time and suddenly Republicans are outraged.

  • Just Say'n||

    Reporters are so brave. How dare Trump insult them for being blatantly partisan hacks! The other guy only spied on them and tried to prosecute them. But, mean words are worse than Hitler

  • Michael Hihn||

    But, mean words are worse than Hitler

    He didn't intend to violate your safe zone. Chill out, snowflake

  • wareagle||

    Oddly, a good many members of the media in attendance were embarrassed. And how classy to attack Sarah over being mad at Trump.

  • SDN||

    No, we've been outraged since you were lying about Reagan.

  • Ken Shultz||

    GOOOOOOOOOOAL!

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Jesus fucking Christ, it's an entire thread of mentally deranged psychopath Mary Stack talking to herself.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Yeah, but Shultz is Shultz. And only deranged psychopaths use that Mary Stack delusion.

  • SDN||

    Republicans simply insist that Trump not be the only one snooped on. Equal treatment under the law used to be a Libertarian thing....

  • Michael Hihn||

    Another libertarian thing is ignoring the tribal bullshit on both sides ... like Trump being snooped.
    And do you REALLY think that's how Republicans expanded the surveillance state?

    Left- Right = Zero

  • Devastator||

    Both major parties want to take away your ability to communicate via encryption. They don't see any value in digital freedom. Both parties support invasion of privacy, just look at the support for the Patriot Act, one of the few bipartisan laws still supported strongly by both parties, and it's a nightmare and rescinding of major parts of the Bill of Rights and democracy.

  • Devastator||

    The bill will never pass, although I appreciate the efforts of a few congress critters who still have some respect for the Constitution rather than use it for toilet paper. Both parties are equally complicit in trying to roll back our rights and make the government ever bigger.

  • Michael Hihn||

    It's an election year. Who's willing to stand up for ... anything of value?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online